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' '-^ Uh ■ , ■ ?<j^ 1^ hh-^ fff iJOlt^ 



On december 1/ 1943, I was released fromintemment in 
lABORT Camp Sierre, all my belongSngs^ina suitcase I had beeri given 
by the good Schoenebergs , LKotte's Laus anne u ncle and aunt, and headed 
for the railroad Station. The weather reflected my mood, a crisp dry sionny 
ino(Dning , the mountains in the moming haze, a mild breez^full of the promisö 
been difficult in ways that had no bnasis in realities other than my 
increasing impati ence. Less than six months ago, a friend an I had escapd 
from v^at we thought at the time were the thre- i:s of conf inement in a 
Nazi concentrat ion camp r of being discovered vdiile moving withc^it ^f^* 
identity papers through Berlin and Germany, homeless and in flight. 
From very early on, I understood that the Swiss would not retum me across the 
frontier as\ "merely Je^ish" escapee whom the police department in Bern had 
not understood as axi^üi:iKai in need of "political asylum",not being 
"in danger of his life" (Order of September 1942 to the front ier police). 
I had been taken to Schaffhausen prison, my fate to be decided by the 
Polizeidepartment of the Federal Gtoveinment in Bern. Early on in the 
three-day interrogation I was directed to fill out an application for ^ 
a paper identifying me as a "refugee" ( Fluecht l; ing) , a civilian intemee 
granted asylum.I stilli|ave the sky-b|ue passport-like booklet bearing 
the prsjgsxxstamps and police permissions needed for changes of address, 
study at the university, the purchase of rationed items, a summer job 
at an excavation site with my pre-history professor, etc. From the very beginni] 
beginning of my intemment in prison and military quarantine camp I pursued 
one goal, toe enter a university and conti nue my studies - a letter dated 
July ,1943, includes a report on my first attempt to be liberATED FROM 
camp conf inement and and obtain permission to study. (The camp commansdnt 


a friendly first or second lieutenant, promised to send an applicatyioi 
tion tothat effect to hie " Territorialkommanda" , knowing füll well that 



^^x'^ransfSfreS^to theConTROL of the 

Frendenpolizei ( allen police) fnanox would I be eligible toe apply for leave from 
the labor camp in which the cvivilan arm would confine a "allen without 
identiy opapers - schriftenmlose ASuslaender) . Having grown up in Gerinany 
I had no difficulties understanding bureaucratic procedures - here, inSwitzerland 
I would be able toe inove within a l^w valid forall, withou t fear of 
arbitrarychic^Är<bes . The provisions iHxÄÜKRxiaMXxfor the admission of aliens 
to higher education could easily be ascertained even if I did not knmow the 

n ^prw6gY5ggeyi'<giciggyx:sfxMigxi:?[gKX^(^gr y 1^ 
letter of the rodinances giaxHXHXMgxthHxsJtoäiKSxxxaänDisscflatiing back to the 
early 1930s at that time. : admission to an Institution bassxxxx , proof of 

financial ability to finAance the expenses of room, board , and tuition, 

commitmentto ^'^leavsxtRi country af ter the completion of one ' s studies or 

when one 's means ran out. 





the rational being t hat the liocal coinrnunityy - Heimatgemeinde - 

accepted its Citizens and their families as wards should theyu become 

indigent. The Bollags had come froiti the tiny minrity of Jews whopse 

ancestors had lived in the country before toleratimn had tumbed into 

civic equality as lata as the 1860s. It had needed French and American 

diplcsmacy and coirmercial power to move the idiosyncratic Swiss democcay 

The Bollags 
mto kksxKBxtaxa* political mod emity. IlisiKxxHxasijöis - ordinary Swiss 

Citizens of rock=bottoin respectability - taught me the first lesson 
in the post-eitiANCIisPATION C OMPLEXITY OF THe| Jewish condition 
while a Jewish State was founded against considerable odds* and the 
tÄxsistHHHKEigxafx inadequacy of in-group de>ocracy , , Rousseau-sty le, 
not tempered by the liberal tradition. 

A few Fridays after meeting Nelly Bollag we met Eugen 
Messinger aHäxhxsxKxfex and his fa mily after the Services and 
walked with Mrs. Bollag to their house for dinner. I do not tecall if we 
aLASO MET rabbi Mes ssinger senior and his wife at that occasion. 
He was well past reti rment-age t hen,He looked back at a career 

in the relatively small Bern Jewish congregation that had eamerd 

hun repect beyond his position. He äsjioä fxsanxEastem-European 

religious Kxaixtaäxa, roots, I nevl^r inquired about his formal rabbinica 

on e uf [iM^ vanfH^ 
traming and presumed that he may have been a graduate^of the VsÜHaxxx 

Vienna jMHäisKhxxx Israelitisch-Theologische Anstalt, which had been 

founded in 1893 on the model of the Berlin Hochschule. Hid reputatit>9te., 

rest.Jed Hnxhisx more on his character then his scholarsyhip , 

I^saw him as attuned to the exsaHÄMRXXx self-images of Bem'^ 

rooted xntelligentzia : deliberate, defil^ite,y^una^uining, and 

quite rational, pragma tic rather than theoretical, but authoritariav. 

featuires below the surface. His son Eugen reflected some of his fath- 

er's vaiHBsxaHä family values: 




he had designated his oldeisi: jon as his succesoJ^/orr^ x5fMxxkxv iri office 
and after the oldest son hasd succurribed axi^octo tuberc^lfisis before the 
father had been ready to retire he made Eugen l^reaJ^-Gtf his law 

career and placed him in^ his succession. I p^irtiS'jine his father had 

educated him sufficiently to qualidfy for confixmation by th\/^e traditional 

board of three qualified rabbis. Mgr^irTCMTJ8«^faxsyy?fyxgwff)gN'^yxwi?^y 

His strength, aside freom conscientously presiding over the wabbath 

and holidaui Services ,lay in his caring and psychologically alert 

V A/> r/ 

»ijcfsritoral outreach to the isolated rural mmni-congredhations that comprisd 
hi^s rabini cal dis trict. The office did not denend talmudic soj^^hitic 
sopghistication, teMtochsx but his pegagocial and organizational; talents 
were apparent in ths programs of Hebrew Instruction, adult education 
courses, social Services and liaison with the federal govemmenty and the 
lay leaders of the about 21,00o Jews in Switzerland, abouit half of v^om 
hadx held Swiss citizenship. 


|^, ."1^3 /-^ 

• \ 


In mid-June 1943 around midnigyt I Succeeded in crossing 
the fontier between Nazi Germany and the SWiss canton of 
Schaff hausen. The first volume of these memoirs gives 
an account of my life as a German-Jewish boy growing to man- 

hood in the depth of Naz 

i persecution. I saw myself as a German , j 
noj^ a Jewish Germani.^ V^^n ^^mi/'-n^^ \A^ ö^oii\/y^0.i^^\^'^lf'^]'\ 

JewA my ?^äirriTy was observant, al>eve— a4r^^my mother1\|w*^!f) had 

converted to Judaism from Catholicism when she married my 

Ljp lived in a Franconian middle-twon^ a bishop's seat,and 
father.""'" belonged to a closely -knit XxÄRKBiKxa:Kxifli^dxiKx:fciaxRX 

religious congregation whose c ulture had been rooted in centuries 

of Jewish village life in South Germany. We had not needed Nazi per| 

be This rootedness 

persecution to remind^^s of pour tradition. Ty supported a 

meaningful life for me when Third Reich discrimination barred what 

w ould have been my professi onal choices among available 

academic careers in Weimar Ge rmany. I joined a Zionist-socialist 

follow had joined 

youth movement to iÄiR my sister who xää Xfii:fciiR^ äh a collective 

settlement (Kibbutz) at the northern frontier of Palestine, 

ay» malaria-inf ested $wampy Lake Hule. WkÄK I was chosen as a 

group Ov\»\ 
future teacher by my youth »SX8SSR5 iftxRiSSSSIcxsfSXicSfexiSicÄSixx 


xM moved from South Germany to Berlin iiMJfcxxasxKÄMgkJfcxwksHx 

-f. /at.the Dutch 

igra|[^ion - aliyav 

to prepare forem 

repare f oremigrajf^ion - aiiyav n^ 

\\ \-\ |J London -^ the outbreak of the War in Septe 

int lex J 

on my way to 

939. XkixxMKäÄxxx 

MHXÄX THe Berlin Jewish Congrehgation ( Leo BaeckteingxikÄ its 

most significant spititual heiFö at the time) then ÄXkÄiäxflQÄxiiax 

KMgiEi^aiä: me to conduct religious Services while I completed 
the studies I had pursued at the last and most outstanding 
Academy for Jewish Learning, the Hochschu le fuer die Wissen- 

schaft des Judentums. These studies, my vocation, the contacts 




they established with Jewish cormnunal and adminisitrative . 
ce«^a-£4sijflxfiÄXiiÄ\made me -^ r--T > ±taEEis j, L o -trhe last agonies 
of the step-by-step annihilation of German Jewry ' s raeirt- 



significant center, Berlin Jewish culture and society,£^ 

Lntain^ i-t^ integrity even rrv r-bis^apbl . In the end,on October 


24, 1942,1 was driven into hiding with my future wife Lotte 
to avoid deport ab ? i oTt anainür3er]\ "^^ üu no^L whgr e — in EQotorft , 

' mir.. 

Eur rnpp 1rn?i . xicfai:fiKJi:feiiy>Lxx viu wuuld havo oharod 


reluLi viL'iL) diid niidiidiüjj, My wife and I have set down our stories^. 

and /discharged our obligationgf ?xÄXÄKikxRÄ»SRÄxfcÄxxxx to 

bear wit ness^s to the rnost egregious catastrophe , >\the murder 

an '?^ / 

of millions of innocent people thr ouch an ind ustiial 

zed killing machine. 

rec orded until then in tha annals 

We had waited fifty years before writing our recollecions down for 
publication. The collective death that had surrounded our survxR5^| 
vi val does not call for triumphalism. Lt dem:HTrded- gratitude 
loecause we would not be here without the relatives and 
friends, Christian and Jewish, from workers to high civil servants 
who had risked rooGia to save us and other friends. We would not 

be here without the i 
s^LTÄveoj^H: the 

luck that h elpe d us to 

raioing ; s^ unbelievable accidents, 
coincidenc^es /^that defied all our attempts at logical planning. 
I did not recognize providence in thgse "miraculous" escapes, 
My signposts were the man and women we had met on ou^way. 
"Humanitaet" , personal integrity, protection from State or 
Society, the privsta sphere against public intrusion - if there 

were any teach^rft^^ left after all the many years flf i mme/^ion 

in religious life and history, they concerned the need 

inan 's.. ... 

to rein in kÄMÄÄÄxbehavior m values and institutional 

arrangements that safreguarded his and our lives from the 

his infinite capacity for evil and self-f eception. I had 

livedin two ciult ures in my 25 years in Nazi Germany, 

that been linked by numerous mutual influences - ^fel^jeJSÜÄftxifÄX: 

cgmunal inst i tut ions . and Gßrman . and Europ^ean 
^'■r^ r.h ethics on one side, l. ..- sei entfi c and 


modernity on the other;.My Jewish communal and intellectual 
experiences had been liberal, democratic, individualistic, 

free to develop7 myself and to share in its activities as 

social oC/Ci^l. 
freely as small-town pressures allowed.My share in German 

public life, in whose pr;otection I still had grown up in the 

Weim^ Republic, became non-extent as soon as I would have 

been old enough for cAvic ^articiupation: the Nazi governgient 

MÄXxxHxx^EdxfcHx^ÄkKxpHXHxxxx took power when I was fifteen yea 

was nonexistent - I turned fifteen years of age when Hitler 


was appointed chancellor and set HfeHHfcKfcHKxaxprocess in motion 

that deprived Jews ultimately, within a few years, of 

their humanity beginning with political, economic, cultural, 

educationa;l and 

intellectiual rights, terror acts,d ismissal from, university 

positions, criminAL trials, arrest in concentration caraps, 

döetruction of rational life plans, ultima tely uprooting 

through forced emigration turning into stampedes in consequenc 

of tbe ma'ss deportation of POlish iäsxxsk citicens of Jewish 

descent and the MÄSXxxiHiHKKHXH^ pogroms of November 1938, the 

Crystal Night. If ever the term "minotity" fitted the 

complex Jewish condition in Germany, it s use jtÄ was 

proper for the Jewish Community of the 1930s and 


1940s. I was shaped by being a Jewish communal activist and 

Student of Jewish Wissenschaft, and by the near-complete 
Isolation of the Community with which I interacted on nearly all 
levels of behavior durin g xRÄxlast seven years afxxÜxiK^ in 
Berlin, 1935 - 1943. I can think of few parallels to this 
Situation of being educated in a majority culture ojie experiences 
as compatible and symbiotic and subsequently being excluded from 
social contact and any Joint public activity and being singled 
out for "ethnic cleansing and murder. 


>*^ / 

\c\,vt -| rtA 




öM iqtSf'.^i'^^M'^if^ (^!5!^' -miK^iy^ 

arm* I «x®ÄÄ«d 

slipped »^between Nazi f rentier posts into Switzerland arou id - "^ 
midnig lit of June 12/13,1943, jknew little about tlie country and 

the people who saved my life by just being there. I knew nothing 

, and 

about wliat would expect me, little of Swiss historv ^ ' '^"-'*" 

A r 

, • 

j^KXK beyond the st reotypical ^^j^::rg ..ghilX.QX.I^^^IiiJrl .i 

Most famil iar to me was the period that had produced Wilhelm Bach- 

, SSSa . 's Basel ^ pör^^h^ 

ofeny/^ Jacob Burckhardt, and Friedr icj Nietzsche^^ Reading;.Burckhardt 

's Meditations on World hIstory,and ^U letter) 

H=»togy of Crooli G- ulb\ivss -(in those handsome blue = linen -bound 

Kroener edi tionsy liad opened excitingi nostalgias and GöÄ-^rrrHmg 

, Sit ' •' ^ 

Images of fckKxaxisiBjiisaxial "Alteuropa" ^ [' ^^ ^ackward UtopiaT -c»^ 

more cH^L-f.ny Lh aiüT- 1; u A i L mMiLaJjaü4,uu*6 t han gttr Spgam ' liberalism/t 
m d, o -^ OQurce; i Mfeiniages of unateau Muzot/\ a tountry kmrs^ 
in the Rhojne Valley where^Ri Ike had written his late gymboEij- 
ftOff . ry . f lic- fDuino Elegies and t-4ie Son ettes to Orpheus. 
The|^liad had pride of placje in ^ small collec t ion of books 
the Brand enteurg Opberf inanzpraesident received from tlie Gestapo 


that liad stolen it. 

A»- Tw n n 1 H f in d r mf , SWiss his -to ry nwi pg li tic x 2r^ 
in .sti tuti nn . s had r e mainod blaiilea bujuiia the uoual > 

Fleeing to Switzerland liad been i llegal in every 
way. Tlie Nazi Gestapo in Be rlin would liave deported me to 

yv\y d|eatli i/n the gas Chamber in Auschwitz if .t iiey had found me . 

^hey knew I had existed/jthey publicise'd'l'in a ludicrous act of bureau- 
cratic ÄulLL-wuifu to^/flugust 27, 1943, tl^iy conf iscated. " in favor 
of tli e Deutsche Reicli"^ my property under a legal formula of 1933 



that tranferred "Communist pro per ty" and fcxkÄxKXXRÄXJtjfXxÄ^xx 

„ , , , . Oberf inanzpt raesident. 
"volks-und staatsxf eindliclies Vermoegen" <-^ ^h- "r-rf i nnnmrrH- 

YTey p üb lished my name , Vaddresejr'-in DcL-liw^ aiid date of birtli 

in the Prelfsslaclxer Reichsanzeiqer und P reussisclier Ztaa ts- 

zeiqer Nr, 204, Sep tember 2 1943/1*'^ 



T he bont wor d for tiiic Ac? ^- 

T15 — "Hrt-ete bi 



inl^SSIiL^XaESEIS--^^ . 

When I had crossed the frontier to a foreign 

country, I automatically 

wasdeprived of my German citizensliip 

r^ under a Himmler decree of September 25, 1941. /X' had had to use 
lo yii$fC4^\^ * 

/ I an aSSUME'*'D- name in identity papers to whicli I had liad no 
\ \ -1 

LC.(/it*^w O^^ riglit. Tliey liad included a military Service booklet - "WehrpaSS" 


Berlin, and anidentity KarM blank issued by Albert Speer 's 
Heeres-und Bewaf f nungsamt , the Super-Armament Ministry. 

1 was "stateless", "apatrie" , staatenloss from June 1943 to 
Ap^il 28^195^2 wlien I swore allegiance to the the United States 



s Federal Police Department 

of AmeiricH^in a ceremony that"was^stil^_l able"to toucii^my 
conservative heart . ä flie'-'^wis 

had given me a Fluecht-lingsauswei s (Ref uaee Iden tity booklet) 

a few weeks iiad U5i^^ tlie 

skarisiy after we arrivgd, bnl iüviflg ay largely uncorroborated 

personal datf- I liad su pplied. Lotte wlio liad come six weeks ear- 


lier, and my f ellow-ref ugee^ may liQve provided independent corro 


check in Berlin via t lieir embass^iy. 

All tliis will not be underst^iood any longer today, as inter- 
natioJ^Hal m^s^X /ravel across Euro pe and o|||lver seas begins to 
make paper passports obsolete. For refugees from the THcjrd Reich, 


losmg your naftlONALITY WAS "•'riTnTit» r ü d a frs^r. . ■ . 

^ fo^in öf civic mu rder. 


In the 1930s, governments like Fra 

nee or SWitzerland ^\c^d^ 

used repatriation or expulsion to a third country as a legal 

tool to diminisli the number of refugees witliin tlieir border. 

a of 

Staless persons could be sent home . If they ran out^the money 

^ maintained 

they had bro ught along, they would liave t o be fc^R t> y local 

, . , ^ their, . ^ , 
welfare or cliarity since governments pro liibtedxKil gainful 

employipeftfe- ( a Leagie of Nation extension of t he so-c alled 

Nansen-passports(bibl)^^to political ref ugees 

' Nazi 

the flood of Jewish refugees when Aust ria was incorporated in^na: 

To me, r\ts^'j^' nijjsi^^' , 

Germany ) . the issue /pr^^serrted^io prob lern since the Swiss 

m^u.Jr/ informal ) W^^^^ 

poli^e did i i.ii " ^T7i^^^ — fir after tlie war. It/became a matter 

\\iCWl^'^l extended by_ 

of personal pridevnot to accept tlie (generous) offer/lai: iks^ /J 

post-war German civil authorities to rüfflOT y iifr ^ German pö:«Fpcrrt 

by a simple decriäftion of intention|. When I took my first 

.fv- X' from New York 
'Y>se(fäY?Tnto Switzerland, France and Germany in 1951, befo re I 

\ " Statement 

had become anAmericancitizen, all I needed was a kä»äX from 

the INternal Revvenue Ser vice xiiaiXHg tliat Iowed no taxes 
to äÄkz obtain a substitute^/paper from ttteetrn'ard Lih^V-/ • • 

Aftd just as I had left Germanay breaking their laws, 
I was forced to break Swiss law/When I entered; XS liad no papers, 
no swiss Visa, [sand/iio money. Tlie re cord established of myX|$»»Ä»ö» 


possessions by the cantonal police of Scliaf f^hausen tlie night 
iHSkxKiäaäxx I entered list3"Rm 350.15, a wallet, a briefcase 

with underwear, a founöäin pen, a mechanical pencil, and » 

a wrist watch." i ^ould not have cared less/Nif I had known at tl 

the time^I was the most undesirable person to enter Switzerland^ 


We had^ been warned by uncensored mailAthrougli Red Cro 

POW=mail Services tliat since August 1942, tlie 5\/iLL- Police 

Department liad decreed its frontier as tiglitly shut as possible 


and ^^^^SSBtmmm- illegal entrants returned to where tliey liad come 

In ApriJ_ll£JUy 

ccupation authorities haqbegun tlieir systematic 

roundup of Jewisli men, women , and cliildren in occupf'ed Western 

and Ji( 
e , r'extei 


tli*y puppet-state 



MRrs]iRl1 Pptnin and Piorro Lqvq I 

tims — f- lody^ ' ^ > 


7 / ^ //öV&Mil^^r i^if^ 
a^ — an ^w ^^-occ^pü^- z omeT''"* 

^s »axÄÄ soutli towa 
fromHolland, Belgium and France^, ffloj ^wy j.f k Swiss police authori- 
ties in Bern, a conservative-bi^reaucratic ^ssmmr^f tlie political dl 

class , 

tliousands of 

panicy\tliat would ^costs tlie lives of 

Jkks repariai:;ed Jews in Eastern European. Jri 

x( b 


Ctlla-j! l), 

k) ö; 

The Bundesrat (cabinet of Adirectors of departments = ministries) 


followed a proposa;of the p\3lice Depar tment to reaffirm another 
hermetic closing of the front',iers to illegal enyt ries 
asylum (Bundesrat deci sion ogf August 4,1942.) 



c w 

1,1 ; 



r' Pix Ij!A9s 

, i! 





However, from the raiddle of 1942 on,not only X34» 


political and bureaucrat ic decision-makers but tlie public 
at large liad learned from many sources tliat tlieir older and 
comfirtable compromise between national security interests 
and humanitarian generosity did not hold any longer. From April 19 
on, the facts began to be circulated amonA/ church and pro= 
fessional groups? a physician who had seen ^RÖxkSSJcäxikR SS/ 
mÄÄÄxKüXÄÄXÄxÄx murdering women who had t o dig t lieir own graves, 
church delegations circulated reports/^and by July 1942 

* » * 

military , 

Swiss newspapers were allowed by tlii<B^ censors to reprint 

declaration^»*/ governments in exile, and other official 
Allied bodies, BjMay_1942j_, Swiss newspapers knew of mass killing 
in gas Chambers^ »^ Jn Decfeber 1942, theyreported on the 
declaration of the Anglican bishops of Decmber 
17 and the parliamentary debate/on l5*fe German genocide ^^ 
Poland of the same date.^^/^ Gensorship op erated under tlie 
pressu res of German armoies surrounding the country on all 
sides and ayiunpredictably expansionist governm,ent in Berlin that 
wliose good will was needed for keeping the flow of food and otyher 
iMgüarkx vital imports Coming in, Even tliough SWiss o pinion and 


its politifcal and military classes were becoming convinced t liat 

Hitler was losing the war, They antici pated that Nazi barbaris] 

would .exfplode into an orgy of brutalities and äoetterdaemme ring 

/ .^ H ^ 

destruction that might endfanger tlie^r cpu|?try as well, (bibl: 

FRiedrich letter 1943; military Anteil . Instructions to Ludwig 
1943/44. Lausanne file). 


In response to tliis certain Information tliat c|5ould no 

longef slirugged off as war-propaganda on t lie model of wliat was 

knownabout atrdcity stories in World War One 

•4^«»»««4Ph0iiM> # M 




By the end of 1942, politivcal groups , religipus and humkanita- 
rian institutions and numerous voluntary and aid organizatlons 
erupted in a vfcal protest against the rejection of refugees see 
king asy lum from these unspeakable dangers. Examples of 
civil servants and police officials interpreting their Orders 


permissively pointed to broad su pport for a return to 

traditions as the dfeats of El Alamain and St alingrad an dt hge 
,1, . ^, , ,. in North Africa 
Alloiefd landmg appeared to confirm expectations that the war 

would end soon ( bibl : Lausanne file, letters), nr 

' Oln resppnse, 

Bern allowed modif icastions of the letter of the decreesHHä 
Of August and December 1942 as mgss deportations in Western Euro- 
pean countries had reached their macabre goals as stated in the 
so-called Wannsee protocol of January 20, 1942 ( bib.). 

I presume that o nly few people jjealized ^ 
at the time the^i^^ensity of what was goi^g^;^^:^^^^ 

s uspen^»^ belief in the unbelievable, like myself. 
THc. 4=V( 1 o • both liouses of 

iHe ^1 swiss Story came to light only whan the Swiss p 

parliament released a report on Swiss policies towards refugees 

1933 194^ { Tirixl?;,^^K'^9?*?-?f 1953-1957 report) 

1933 1945 ( Lftdwig, bißl) that offered extensive documentation 

in the exemplary tr adition of British White Papers or American 
Congressi onal Hearings. 







One June 13, 1943, around midnight beCire Witlisunday, 

I crossed the frontier between Germany and Switzerland , taki 


along a good friend ke myself and Lotte, my soon-tp-be 

wife,had been hiding in Berlin from being deported to adeath 

c^^P Ajjr rhn N-iTJ , fJoarcU V^ liu m^ Hil OLinti^r;^» . I had t urned 

twentyfive years of age two v q qIco cQtfliey . Lotte liad crossed 

the frontier in the same general area six wee ks "^ 

had not ^ 

I äxäxnot know^ixkÄH thultimate peril tliat kkk±^kAxx had awaited 

ikSx^^laj^ives and f tiends^ and tlie Community I belonged to 

who^failed tn taisQ i^ha oLep to save themsel/ves'lby slipping j^\x% o€. 
t ^^>l Q ir ri^Pxi ?t gna<?f into the Underground of the liomeless and 
hunted. And I had notknown tliat tlfe war HrHriep^nd «8?« non-resist 

ing popu 1 ation i* conjtrolled had not only unleashed tlie gecond 

WorldWar but the greatest slaughter of vicilian s and the 

most murderous military mass deytruciton of men and materiel • 

the ciivilized wor;d had experienced until tlien. My i gnoranc:^e 

stemmed n ot only f rom the education I had been receiving: 

Neither y^^ 

ßÄfck the German atHä the Jewishcomponnents of wliat I liad learned 

during a prolonged if interrupted schooling had included "modern 

Euro pe" by whatever designation. It was also created by 

the imperAtivesof survival tlij^at forced attention on the 

concrete issues at hand. I have told the story of how perspejjti- 

ves liad narrowed from the lialcyon midelle \.mf\ \ and 


äXMß of i^y orthodox j^wisft upbringing tu Wulmm 


anri lihpral .Tpwi s]i nnih ure in N azi -f^nm j n;:^i-.^H (if nn4- 

in tlie first part of tliese memoiris. 




None of tlie Jews wlio liad been liiding in Berlin 

rvived without the help of Christians. Most of the 


5,000 persona wlio are presumed to liave been liiding / from tlie 

SeSrat P olice from 1942 - 1943 

/(vv ^^71/200 or 1,500 persons were 

red for the allocation of f- o o d s^a^rt fr(fm Amerit>a.<-ijr obably " 

did not survive tlie war: 

among tliose who registere^ 

a ^eliable index. Their total numb er r 



verif ication. Our experience suggests that the number of Germans ^^k 
sh^^tering Jews in fliglit may have been at least t hre^to five 
times the number of those hiding out. Lotte and I were probably 
helped by 12 - 15 persons in Germany and Switzerland to reach the 

frontier ol OtuiLu^ 

(V » ^• 

. Wliile I taught at Be rlin's Technical 
University in the 1980s, , German students liad been driven by 
t heir conscience and their interest in social history to 
investigate those helpers in search of constants in their 
motivation. I knew that static concepts would miss the fluid 
nature of the relationship of helpers of either sex to the 
persons they protected. 

None of those helping us suffered damage to life 
or limb for the help they had given u s, but a few were^idis- 
covered by the police in Germany and Switzerland! 

■^^^^*-^^ ^fe^ }»-rpe given Information to us or to middlemen 


two men 

/ • \* 

l^'^^^^l ^ k'i L^ ^^°^^ details to be observed in frontier crossing.or serviS@f( 


conduit5. related their being detected to carlessness 

and "mistakes", also in co nnecti/on witli other activities. They 

suffered some damage to their careerg or the^status of the aa yl r am 
they had been granted in Switzerland. The two Germans who had 
showed US the way ac ross the frontier had been arrested in Ger 
many in the Fall of 1944, a year after they had assisted us, but 


the appro aching end of the war brouglit tliei^r release before 

they could be triled. A minislterial-level official of a 
German Armament Mi^S^itl?f5^¥i lil:^^*\nto custoöy by the Gestapo 
in Berlin in early Febr uarY*"~r945. Tliey diso ov ered ( with 
the lielp of un^paid informers) that lie operated a secret wireless 

transmi tter to Ameri can army or intelligenmce units 

They also knew about 
his assistance to^^^^^ ^^^ hoped to persuade to make common cause with Nazi- 

deserters and ^"^^wg^^^^^^ . ^ fight aGainst the "threat of Bo:*.lshev ism" He was 

liberated by Ameri"canc and Russian advance on the sEifaHxRixsxx 

infamous military prison of Torgau at the ELbe River in 1945, 
following liar rowmng months of mistreatment . Tlie only person 

our ö^eft-dui^ to 

murdered outriglit by tlie Nazis x^g, 



Dr , Keller, a former P russian State attorney Dr.Ruddolf 

C a s p a r y . M8xXftSxft^fek8ÄxfeXxiiiiSxS8Si*ß»xiSxife8xxiSiix»^xi8^5MMkKH 

ds am ong tlie 

wliom even his high-level KOHSKXXı:ixKx 

conse rvative and fr-? aaxixx^ intelligence groups could ^ot 

save from being deported to Auschwitz. a Bund^esarcliiv ^Qblicatio 

bibl.) lists liim as "verscheollen" , "wljerebaouts uritnown." 

All others survived the war unscathed. We would 

meet with those wh ose addg" esses we could find af ter thewar 

to celebrate tliem not because they were heroes wh^^-^^rrptc^-c- o n g i d e > 

tMsy had ^äkk^xx made Äxx5aÄ2:Äxx 
ra-J^Jre— TTisko- to ho l p - but because jg^^j^XlSJiKKXSKx^JHgKxxaxhMiaaH 

t5x3Sxl^Ää^likÄltxÄliäxXkÄllxikÄxXÄ}ciÖxMlc»itll5txMMxXÄ8x o f »ÄXRfcgÄ: 

our dangers and abjec tion t lieir own anJ prevailed, K^iifcÄXxxx 

b eyond 
!liilMillS*M«SX»$^öK«xx xii4kÄMi€xÄÄ$^i^iRa rewards or exe ulpatory 

national self-se rving. For some 1 <LnokR. d too late , wlien 



1 turned to settin g down tliese r ecollecti ons. What I/ve writ 
ten about themEoes not Qompensat^/\f or ciy luAl up p ortunit -jM^- 

Crossing "illegally" into Swiss territory, we 
had been warned bya delegate of the SWiss Red Gross in Berlin, 
would face us witli the real danger of being appreliended and 
sent back to Germany, possibly into the fangs of tlie Secret P olice 
or customs agents. Tlie Swiss gove rnment of tlie day liad cont inued 
tlie tragition xSWiss policy of neutrality and non-involyement 
and liad Struck changing balances IssIckhhhx between rstr ictionism 

and tolerance in its policytowards refugees seeking p^-tdt-icaj. asyl 








By December 1, 1943, il liad secured tlie permissions 


and papers needed bo leave tlie camp and enrol in Bern Universi l:y . 


t^ Tlie last weeks liad been gruelling, 

I was 
rlinnlfs » loning patience wibli wliat I saw as tlie slowrf«»- 

of Alien Police "bureaucrats" and of several comifcbees seb up 

My "nervousness" j 

bo lielp refugee sbudenbs in need. ^* was, in brubli, more *tre^ ^^' 

OWH »H^ld' 



fero my own eagerness to leave^ plie berm liad begun in early Novemberoiurf 


blie faculby's lebber of accepb ance liad been in my liand/"!;^ 

MäX Jb gave me some pebby sabisf acbion bliab I was able bo pub 

blie camp-dismissal sbamp - always sbamps... - inbo my Swiss refugee 

idenbiby bookleb - Ausweis - as my lasb "official acb" in blie . 

camp of f ice . i^ione-upmansliip for lebbing me waib ? 7/ JRi'ends .^errganize 

a 1SSÖSHL farewell parby#A0^ German polibical emigrey| a professional 1 

caricabur isb tt^ms4::^^£a^ , dr8iw>i|blieir good-bye presenb, a »«li^i-l car:fe 

liappily Q^ards 
boon sliowing a blond maiden-angel flying me y^ away bo^ blie m^unbains. 

across my waving and gri eving comrades. i clierisli liis and blieir 

senbimenb bo bliis day , blie carboon is sbill in my files. Tlie camp 

V\(Kd^ recognized as my own,* 
experience liad seb a pabbern I KaKxiajcxKs:l:£x£^:l:jt^K±K^ , C9^MyMiiAiil!^^:^||i|: 

kMlSÄM röB 1 1 L llÄf „ ^dt^^V 

ÄiKgx ""iü^ifff^being wibli and serving blie comrauniby ,Kkiiia .1 (fU im rj ^iii' 

concrebe sibuabions 
my privabe space, responding bo r^ai kKMÄKxfeKXKgÄ in a XÄÄixXRjt: 

iHäMigxHgxxHxJkkHxx con rebe way and drawing Ä^^SK^KK from :fcks 

KSkKxisKxl: axKXHXHXH±xx£KK±xKgx my love for LObbe and ag ^^^^^^«^^-x; 

xxxx searcli for blie 

ÄSS.K ii^Mx^Sxx iiMiäjKxxkKHiäxikÄ conbexbs I I1 1 I IMIH ■liiijiiiiii n | | 

explain bli^^communiby • s fabe and my own. Exisbence, as I would liave 
plirased ib ab blie bime, grew oub fif commung^^tea^s^S' a^^ aKicisiix v^/ 
i involvemenb, nob words. r^1 1 iti lifiu- I liad inber4nal ized 

— jaiiiiÄÄi*NWfn^!^T''WfW¥iMNi I liad 


been exposed bo in Berl in • a q-„, ,* _ . ,., ^ ^ ,, 
^ //l^aul's carboon did nob bell 

^ O'dfJ ll^ 



Story: I liad been ^^^=e- liappy wi^ij-jfty camp 


. environment, tlie ±äkxx m,ountains and fclie 

r«^Valley, cliateau Muzofc and tlie railroad fcrips bo •Nsxa^^Uox^' 


I itsiakx squeezed oufcof my infcernment , and Ifelt blie pangs of 

Separation from fche i»^ friends I nud m«te . Mucli later:jcxxkHHxlx 

I learned f-r^egn a Owiaa qUIlIcII — r 

/ H ^ O »^^ <3 

., tliat tlie malaise ^ W^ 
Vac\ ^^^^ feltt «D-Wm und liad aFFR^ted ref ugee/aamp--3rB^ftö4;^e aM; 

/AA^£? -t^ l matt^u^^l^ o a c]/ ^Ä*aJiiM^. -^eSei^S?«^ Freizeit " ^stimu 1 atin g 

. f / t leisure ti me act ivities-in tlie carips-liad been t SWiss 

' VUfi^- administrative ieci^iöö to ease tlie Situation and fojrestall 

unfavorable publ ici ty . and criti cism in tlie'press. It did not 
otccur to me tlien to question tlie "system" tliat liad taken me 

«^fe^Kprison and mili tary quarantine to tlirfj/labor camp, and 

c^lHikd^^^ prilege ^^ ^^5 /o^ studying 

now/^tlie unique äKHäxMxMRXJix d» rakiiJsiÄXtey KkiiäxHxxxHÄjc ata 

more tlian 
university of my choice, in freedom. As I learned a decade 



1 a t e r ; f- rom q poot vay - Gviaa ' g ^ np ' eiitme rvfe- y^fiert^-^ tf^ ^^ ^ ^ i'e-j-te^i 
po4-4=@y ^ i ( ijiül"'»* » ^ öM^ about iTO of^the tlien 12,000 refugees 

gKJ:iaygaxi^kgj^x^gH>ra^ lia4 J U^ '^ ;l i is~gooi^ loybunQT H^lQsir of my f e 1 1 ow 

at least^ and a half 
mternees m Sierre camp liad to wait/]^a year/f^x longer before 

returning to a more "normal" civic existence-as "private in- 

to ^/^0 XÄMigXjÄkiHg to final settlement countrie^^^ 
ternees'*/ bs^HrsxraicMXHXHgx migra!^^ iMXfckÄX/o^TeTFilfT^^ to 

tlieir homes in Western Euro pe. Substafcntial numbers cliose Pales- 

stine/lsrael , other settled overseas, somi^returned t"o^Germany 

tofc re~inte^rgate into tlie politic^al Systems emerging inEast and 

West. By 19r)0,only about/ ^ decided to seek permanent sttld) 

ment in Switzerland. Some \ »1 »q \)^ere forced to stay beliind^/liaa 

^U i^ci 

been /re^-ö^^-t^ed 

tion liad left tliem witli major sicknesses l^e tuberculosis . 
My fflirst return to tlie country in 1951 iwwf bejP devoted to 
interviewing a group of young survivors for a U/S. Public 

Ith /ervice Project n^l^CK^ihJ Ii^Sk/^H^^-^ ' ^uW ''^Wl 


C YC\^ (?K^ 

ma/A ■ ^ ^ X^ 


Among liberal /-democrafcic nations/' Swi tzerland 
andblie Swiss people liad been 




of neu trality and liumanity, i^XÄäüixfiHaiijcx offering liavens 
to -♦fjT^ victims of political or religi us conflicts, from 16tli 
Century Marian ref ugees ^f rom England, ( Fren cli -MigiHHMXic <Huguenot:s . 

i^n po^litical ra dical sl SHtd J^»^ 


--Äöd arrsbocratS/ | Qgrmdi »»*eti 
social isfcs , 

aird ati.d 

yi|rf\3T iil i tary qogqpggg f rom oapt ivity ^*if^ deserters ^ hx^ 

ref ractairs , ref^ugees f rom MUasol ini ' s — ILa , 

om ÜliJe lOLli Lu Lliu 


{ OiAC^^^ ^- 


1 /| v-« »I 

204^ 11 oonbury . Conversely, numerous impoverasihed Swiss nationals 
unable to find work or advance|»«Mnfc,^^äfc liomelliad sebtled abroad, and 
blie ratio of Swiss / mijiarryi ng gforeign spouses liad been liigli . 
In spij^te of t5ö4* S ciii l o g r q p^ ^JFe^-^ ^y^T^ iy w J i the Swiss government discovere 
red in Ipü^ period of HÄi:±HHH±ixBfl rising nationalism alr^^^eday bef ore 
tlie FicEtWorld War tliat -H^ ixss^bs towns^ locabed ab tlie Frencli , -^^fe'^-i^irl 
Italian* and German fronbiers liarbored cons iderable pGrconbagGdG of 
foreign nabionals among blieir populabions . /#bb bhe bime, ^j^jg^x 

p^m^^^i^^y^xx:Q:ixli:^m^Si:^^^Aie^M^M:^xx s^e«rtm6 demograpliers projecbed 
tliat zäunen resiaenb^^^would equal blie number of Swiss nabionals 
by blie end of blie a European abmospliere rife wibli nabiona 
ism and euge nies 'gHXKXKMx Ablie fin;*ly bumed 45ISÖb»^sysbem W local , 
canbonal,and f edbral^inbroduced contj^rol itfeasures bliab succeded in 

> rb - ..bim e -//Ss yeb.enbire-' 

ly in polibical anlfcd culbural terms: one measure suggested was for- 

cing alien residenbs bo acquire Swiss cibizensliiiT".» Tlie Slogan tliab q^ 
would express g4»»g3Bt aaQiit; ^^xx demograpliic fears formany decades 
and dominabe refugee policiesAwas " Ue ber f r emduna " ^ i m}^ i y i nqfvc.y^ c j ^ 
incompatibiliby, erosion of culbural -pQc^ul'lrUy ^ttr^Iiomcy ...j ' 

to be stemmed only by rapid "assimi lationn ^f "^ 

. - o^ foreign el 

reducing blie number of aliens wibliin a 


It was - and is - cliaracterisfcic of pre-1914 European national 

administrat ions 

ÄJiÄitÄÄ tliat blie "control of aliens" was seen as apolice 

responsibil iby , in dist inet co ntrast to US xxpaicJfeXÄrHÄXx 

administrative patterns, and tliat tliey defined tlieir mission 

frora tlie beginning in negative, defensive terms, to "stem tlie 
u öl'iCK^ from permanent residence wliom 

be"assimilated" to Swiss life or business ways. WJ 

lood", to keep e- thnico groupsA tliey considered toddif f erent to 

In major liistoric emergencies, police prerog at ives tended to 
be ^xpanded , as executive action influenced, even determined, 
legislat^ive and political action. Tliis was tiie case in World War One 
wlien the French-German tension had spilled over tlie frontier and 
seemed to endanger national unity.At tliat time, tlie federal police 
for aliens gained formal structure and expanded its administrative 

territpry at tlie e xpense of 

cantonal governments. Tlie end of 

tlie emergency did not re^erse tliis flow om^rerogative to tlie center 

and the executive, al though /BaTance between regional arid central f) 

pe4ri-ee prerogabives had hoö-been cjornpi-etoly abol isliedd .^^uring 

the period of the f;Hird Reich, Swiss policy on asylum and the 

admissi^on of political opponetnts of the^.Aregime and of persecuted 

n ominous ' 

Jews acquired a foreign policy dimension of liitherto unknown 

ÄlP^iMHßii intensity (§Ö^^I^«M$«^ displeasure and threats against Swiss 

hospitaility extended to their enemies had been cliarac tercbzt ic 

b including il(yl9iOii 

reactions previously, S^Sü'^lie tlireat of military acririQH ) ; Nazi 

Propaganda against SWiss tolerance signified one of the many lows 

icaxxk±isk inflicted by the German regime on international comity. 

Once egain, tlie balance appeared to have sliifted toVfederal S§^I^IS?^I$ 


^Kdx executive wliile maintaining cantonal autonomy, or making 

US of it to Support 

r: äKKXxiHH uupopular federal decisions. f\ 

One significant effect of thiJfShift of prerogative / 

was hhe ascendancy of police thinking in the high est minisheri al 
branches of t he government, is^be definition ««» 

I^TrefeTand human dimensious of government policy on refugees. 
AS early as the FIRst World War, the Justiz und P01 i zei-Department 
(ministry) had been under the spelf^aational ist ic demography 
of the time. Its mission would be to protec t the country f rom 
being diluted by an excess of unassimilable aliens. Tht.aegative 
and defensive menta lity at the c ore of th is. jjew ^^^^J^^,,^ 
,X uuMj^ir shared b^^^o^t^ier continental natio/nal states ^^f^^^^f^^^ 
including the Weimar Republi k. In the context of Swiss historic 
tradi tions of to leration, and of the ,äixisi«KXXi.xxHBraixp£BHKHrxai.xj 
Liberal/Socialdemocr^t^c vs Conservative d Wision^^^^|l^i^ 
and national interest, the Chief ..f the 1«1 ice -^artme^would 

^\^^\n7^\ iGoislation of the 
gain considerable influenae on the politxcal leg 

Federal Council - Bundesr|at 



,<,^_-j»';> - 

,d pr ovide it with the rationale for the two most contro- 


.ersIL DF.CISIONS o£ S»iss refugee pollc y during this pel=rloa. 



OC], o-> 

C'kMcuc^ '^^^^^ 


U öl i 

i\. if*-\\ 

• I 





I also menfcion tliem because fcliey were one of fclie manyliuman 

estlietic or intellectual 
and iHÄtifcMkiÄKÄixexperiences bliat xfiHidxKItXKxiiÄXiKK^xs^iön^ÄXXKa 

SWiss ^ li^ve made usvisifc wibko Swiss civility . , ^ 

Ä«Mi¥S^«x^?x»ÄJCÄxUÄ want: to r«XHrK äkäx even if we liad not wislied t 

meet our friends again under new circumstances . SixHHxi^kxsxrsKHXä 

aH:äxHMrxKxpHr±HKKHs:^xJ5:ksxgHXHxxHiflHMJfcx I do noy know liow I would liave 

feit if I liad li ad to spend two or tliere years in a labor camp 

separated from family and Community. My axpÄJtxxÄHKHxhad been 


privileged. OF about 20,000 refugees about / {(y h 

ad been 


released for study in universities or teclinical scliools. Tliere 

are no figures on tlie number of refugees completing tlieir studies 

graduating witli degrees. 
or tlie number of refugee jöiCÄXiQsXMXKxit« PliDs . After tlie v/ar, questioj 

were raised in tlie litarture as late as 1994 (Picquard bibl . ) 

if tlie Prohibition against taking gainful employment or engaging in 
business was a degrading and unnecess ar y liardship. It liad been ena 
enacted in 1933 wlien practcally all potential countries of refuge or| 

iml^iiiigration posted large, even liug^-, unemployment figures and 

restricted immigrajion to 

xixkHäxltH Protect tlieir ntionals from competibion. It was never rev| 

revised or brouglit into line witli clianging economic and demograpliic 

data. In 1942/43 . tliere was also consider^^ble unrest in such camps 

n d bOTTfr 

< \^ 4 « V» .A. ^^ *I Wft h^ «.4, ^i V.^ VaT \^ V^ X A k^ ^ >>>1 Va> ^ i*^ ^ V^ \^ X * ^ V^ k^ \^ .k X X W^ VC V^ J X V» \JL X%1 »^ k^ 

^ ^^ vv VI / / 

ana Oä^'jT'ADMZ NISTRAT ION HAD TAKEN 'MEASURES to modify si^ä^ con- 

T^^ I' ' ' üeeda/ 

ditions ^m^^^^'^ww hardshipf. Security (agHinSt' being inflitrated by 

agents coucjld probablyU liave been met by icks ÄpjarHxjaxxaJfcK 


sceVening. Lotte *s uncle may not liave been tlie only unpaid 
volunteer warning SWiss military i ntelli gence officials against 
Nazi infiltrators posing as businessmen. 

^ Given tlie poor record even of democratic 

countries/ l^i*iJ^FraNCE or Englan^in Europe^ and in tlie WesJ^tern yhem| 

|\ f )li \ spliere f canada 

tlie UShß, interning "enemy aliens 


in camps liad not been unusual during tlie migrafcion emergemcy vcret 

Created by Nazi Germany . XKÄXMxiKxXhrHXKx^i Public and sclio larly 

directed aa^A^^^*"' ^^^^ 
cribicism ai Sw6ss refugeöa pelicies focused on gove rnment 

. . ion again^fc . , 

restrictionism and its discriminatftjcXxÄitttSÜMSxÄMiixS^ Jewisli 

persecutes in kKHxpsrxiadKxxKiÄrKkxkH 1938, and fclie closing of Ih.« 

SWiss frontiers for "racially persecuted" asylum seekers 

in August 1942— 1943, Already in 1938 and 1942, kka federal meas 

measures aimed at excluging Jews liad caused considerable criticism 

among religious and political organizations , 
in parliament and in pubjic as far as K±XKMMs:fcÄKKKX tlie fact 

were known-at tlie time. In 1945 and immediately after tlie war ende^ 
ended, one liad tlie impression tliat political criticism of 
SWiss war-time policy towards Nazi Germany was turned most XHKi:ß:srj 
vociferously against political and economic policies towards 

Nazi Germany and its pressures. Some personal ities identified witli 

tlie policy of accomodating Nazi demands resigned Like tlienxKprsigM 

MxxKXÄli^r Chief of tlie POlitical Department (Foreign Office) 

Marxcel-Pilet-Golaz. It seemed lik etlie first step i naxHÄXJKÄÄXKXjc 

Swiss j^^^g 

re-orientation of pKrxpjSKkxxHKx internatio/.nal l!fli8X|$|$^g|€ re- 

lati onsin a Europe controlled by the American-Russian dominated 
coalition. I do not know if SWiss refu gee policy had been part of 
post-war controversy . 

Wlien we crossed he f rentier in June 1943, we had been 

warned of Swiss restricyions against Jewish refugees but knew as 

ywt of no person affected by it. In December of tliat year, when 

the per iod I had been interned in campos end^d and I had 
Ä-, in semi-censored newspapers 

füll ränge of information available on current e\fve nts, 

at my disposal, polic ies towards Jewish seekers of asylum 

didnot/v f igure^^rominently , or^iat all/ in newspapers and news 
/\ / /l 

bröadcasts (as far as I had ^tijne to listen to t^liem). 


In tlie fall of 1945, we learned witli greafc dismay tlial: t:wo of our 
friends, t:wo young women, had been returned at: tli4exMKlciaH-Sewiss 
frontierin tlie Alsace in February of tlie same y ear we liad been 
a ccepted by Bern, Tliey liad been cauglib in bwo successive atfcempts 
to cross o ver, onecne women liad been on record for lielping persecub- 
ees acris tlie fronfcier earlier and dubbed Emiqrantensclileppe r - 
a pejorative term for guiding emi gres clandestinely across tlie 

frontier.We left Switzerland in late 1946 witli only vague notions 

about Swiss policies. New York liad a way of swallowing a young desstit 

family straining for a footliold, 

Tliab I was not alone in my disinterest and ignorance 
on this issue emerges from tlie publication liistory of tlie relevant 
government sources. In 1995, I le^urned from a biograpy of one of 
myBern liistory professors, Werner Naef , tliat tlie Pol i tisaclies Depart- 

in the Fall of 1945, ^ Interpellation 

men_t_, m response to a par liaraentary I r^^ »t^r^^6 ! ;^ ^^ orT (Members' 

Question) , was considering tlie publication of liiterto secret ^ääMx 

ÄÄRkÄ from its files to document " tlie political and military 

dangers Switzerland liad to copewitli during the War." Naef liad been 

my primary teaclier and had sponsored my dissertation since the s 


of 1945. He ad v ised against Publishing a collection of documents 
in an expose I expect to discuss later. in this Memoir. h\e Department) 

informed tlie par 1 iamentary Interpellanten that it found it inadvisabl| 

withQut doubt 
sable to accede to tlieir request. The documents wouldMiave touclied 

on swiss Asylpolitik. Naef had feit that in the liighly excxited 
political atme spliere of t he i mmediate post-war period, JsLksx 
"often dramatic nd sensational events would be misinterpreted un;less 
a narrat ive commentary provided their context." Bibl . Wegelin 37) 


Selecting docuraernt 

"Documents by tliemslveds wou;d tend to obscure tlie facb fcliat 

tlie political leadersliip liad succlded during blie se six year 
for KxgiiiisaHlc stretclies of blie way 

to steer aj^traiglit, secure course." (ibid. 38) 

pre seilt 
to ist±&x. an official Version of Swiss war-bime policy would not 

sabisfy blie requioremenbsa of scliolarsliip. // 

Clearly, blie Deparbment and blie parties 
fjHT war-bime policie^ Uad no inberasb in fuellina p i lUL IWtv aiJtxKkx 
^ttta ci a yoroiGO /|Btf(: ^iblier' Naef nor bhe Politisches Deparbmenb 
knew in 1945 bhat t^4^-We c b g i - ii AI 1 i u ü> . Grea b Bribain, France, 
and blie Unibed Sbabes v»rff coramissiory? / experbs in diplomabic 
hisbory bo bagäaTfigta t i i 1 1 ia g^ a ^e r i e s "Documenbs on German Foreign 
Policy, 1933 • — *T^e armisbice AGREEMENT had obligabed 'blie"German 
governmenb - soon exbincb - bo surrender iO:^ afcrTilve^-Tf^j^'bhe "^ 

Nazi period, a ^p^M^^ raounbain of documenbs ,,housed in Greab Bribail 
Bribain and bhe USA^;^#« would fuel an enbire/new hisbori^ans' 
nnharpi-Mut - and produce numerous disserbabions?-^«^^,^«!^''? JrTÜB 
included T r i iT 1 j 1 1 iliij i iii ^ i Swiss - German diplomabic ex- 
clianges on bhe Swiss inbenbion to QAi!]wlüLlL./ YT'ews 
sitreaming in panic fliglib acfeross bhecSvlss-Ausbrian fronbier. 

f rora 

4ustrla,> a„a Ger»an S.S. a„ä Gestapo unlts had unleasl.ed a r,ic,n o£ 
k»Witito»HSxk«^*«Kxx.««»* intimldation and brutal ,l.ysical terror 
vron tue about 200,000 ,Te„s Uving in vienna, and forced t„e. acros. 
\„e swiss frontisr in record numbars. It tUoroug.ny alar.ned t„e Swiss 

'„/ tf'culd never^^integrated into Suiss society 

European aliens wlio^ Jrouia nevai /^ 

. .. ► ih= „ava Tliev would naver leave once admitted, and 
or acculturaj^tad to ^ ^s k "ai^^„^hei wou 

astataUsh«»g oonneotions witli SWISS 

V..V.V . ^ffori-c, -^ ^^ove them »«. ,The/1iad^to 

Citizens te> ^ frustrate police efforls ^o mo u v^_^i_ _ 

::^bera\uoii/(fjSzi term mheri- 

use bheir considerable s 

foresball "die Verjudung der Schweiz", a c^l 


ted fr©m bhe lltli Century German liabe lexicon/ 






We had been forced to abandon our furnished rooms - we, that is 

my friend and future wife Lotte -, and when 

the Gestapo ^i^ÄÄ^ theä 

theae rooms and placed a paper seal on the door jamb, we obtained 
a thief's picklock, a "Dietrich" in German", broke into our 
own roos\p and carried our clothing and some papers^lwa'y"'^n| suit 
cases. We brole the special decrees the Nazis had imposed 

on US to mark us as different d/iscarded the yellow star they 

had forced us to wear to stigmatize us as Jews, we travlled 

for the longest time^^ 
at will on publiclf transportation, (J Rad" no ident ity papers 

^^^disragrded the vcurfew of 8 p.m. they had imposed on Jewsf 
we were forced to buy food outside the ration System since 
we of course were unable to obtain xai±HÄ«e ration cards 
once we had lost our legal residences. The list of such 
" transgressions" is of course endless: we played roleä, we 
"passed", the less guilty •?;;: and seif conscious we grew iKiaxx 

r f '^ r- 

\\r ^ rk\\.Kx A ^f '^^^:>r^™®^^*^^^h^ tighter pour cafoouflage turhed into rel 
C A U" ' ••'fr'" ^y cteting out* Still, x Iäü thei danger of being detect 



suffused the double seif, at times emerging in panicked inten- 
sity even in perf|ctly controlle situations. 






)n December 1,1943, I left 

b^^l^ ^~ \>:r 

labor camp Sierre at an 

early hj^our to catch a morning train to Brieg,about 25 miles up^^l 

stream.aR^xKkÄKgHxxH^HThere one of the 19th-century marvels of 


Swiss raildroad-building technology, the Loetschbergbahn would 
me north through a long tunnel past snow-capped Alpine ^eaks . 
iHxEKXH,into the relaxed green landscape of lakes, villages , ß^^^ 


small towns ^ß^ 

landscape/ would def iner^our Switzerland" had already taken shape^ 
i^ an irreegular trianiigle wh ose g^pex was formed by Bern and 

of the Berner / Oberland . Wh 4.4* l^^ 
finer^^ur Switzerland" had alreadv 

whose base line ranri f rom Lausanne and ' . ♦ jI ":. 




alonhg Lake Geneva and the Rhoe valley past ^ierre and Brieg to 

aT mountain resoi: nearby that could be reached by the small 

gage Brig = -Oberalp ''^^ilroad and a cable-car cabin to a- meii ntain — 
c\ Vvexv^t^i/\T^ '^uXyi c>.A>^ X>^^ \)^^sA oW^V 

,6000 feet abovWseafSlevel . We-had-txeenr 



i,X^^^Lotte ' s links to her family in Lausanne, my four-months of 

work in in labor camp Siere, the first years of o/ur mnarriedlife 
s^^in Bern:Kxx^xkKXMR±XKXxüy , a few exception^ Ij-y close 

friends^ my stud^yand graduation at the Universitaet of Bern 

within three years after our arrival.Not that we did not travel o 

takg our 

vaction in otyherpar4ts of the country like the Engadin or 

^j ^^^jc^d^ x^^ i ve 3 through the/gura mountainijj Valleys high above 

the lacs de Bienne/or NeuchStel, I would spend two XKixxsiäx 

, . ^/^ch^Sologyji 

undemanding summers assisting my prehistoric ÄXäKEÄÄÄiiÄiÄäJc prof e 

the remains of a 
Professor digging up a (small) neolithoc :xiakÄäKÄÄiiHgx vi j jage 

on the shores of Burgaeschi#see , near Solothurn, Lotte wguld 

abolve a trainingcourse i ^ . . . ^^ 

äs a laboratory techniciaH 

in Neuchatel for six months, Jewish Community work regularly tpok me 

our then friendship 
to Zuerich/friinefdshipwithLUtz Ehrlichbroughtus to Basel. 

Althoigh we never stopped feirling stro/ng attachements to the man? 

landscape s tat make up Switzerland, Lotte more to to the 

hilly MItteolland and the EmmenmtaJ, I more to the lakes and mountain 

valles or the various hikes friends would take mealong with them on t 

mountain hikes ^ ^_ 

(ngn-climbing) ÄXÄMXÄiÄKÄ - — /our" Switzerland was cf^ined by 

the happiness ofhaving survived and having married,of having reached 

a university that conveyed a culture cIöc^äcJI^ä: that was not hostile or 

. ,. ^. ,., race-rotten . / . 

Idiotie like :^^5<^sö^ic5<bö(b<böOc German .ycivi^lization /"bur" switzerland was 

neither its 
clearly not the "real" State ^näxsociety economy^orpolitical life. 

during those three years 
At frequent occasions, on walks or hikes or train-rides along xtkÄ"my" 

Triang;e" in Bern, in Lausanne, or on being absorbed by the uniquely 

Space "Switzerland" emß^^öödfr'aspa 

subtle fem«r K^R^SxOf Lausanne Cathareal, 5^g''röm§hMx§xkMKÄiciÄlll^^xftSxxxx; 

" §5?^lJSS$lE5S^X??SS^S^^ tuned temporar ily into an e:xi^erience probably mot 

very different from the turns in esthj&etydc sensibiloioty that broughgt a 

the Alpemnschwaermerei of thelSth cemntury. 

On June 12, 1943,1 stepped over th invisible line 
that separated free democratic SWitzerland from NaziGermany. 
It was an incredibly joyous experiencefji to feel the pressures 

ugitive^. --^^^^b-r^l t ^ |(^ ^ 

of being a f 



when I had been stopped by a RiiiiJ5ÄXX 

frontier guard who had observed our crossinq^i 

From tQ 
iii^^MJ!^^^^^^^ slavery^xHBQ^freedom, the ancient Hebrew formula 

for the exodus from Egypt we repeat ea ch year in the 

Passover liturgy poppijiSt ^P ^^^^ a mantra. The euphoria of these 

moments was intense enough to leave a rsidue of good feeling 
towards the country and the people that ^»»kxKÄxillxÄi^xfckÄfexlQÄMÄi 


had saved my life by just being there. 

Even if ikx Alpine landsca pes had not been linked in my 

. , th^ happine^s ,, , . . , . -.^ . . 
memory with msmhxxss of childhood vacations, b^^e- lri i;; v , ais l er , 

._J^ had takenj^' in, the 1920w, 

amily va^rHri-eft-s XÄxMS^M^^^ftTher northin Bavarian Alps 



KaxH:£rKÄXgxHiSKiKxäxxssxE:MXÄXxx - this became the defining 

moment beyond the gratitude I feit for country and people, 

W^Ä— GWi-i-fe^tbre-xitteÄ^ was o i\cj H^^^^^w. 
nature and culture, that j^igif^x^o give mafSTtempo rary home 

fo 1-the next three years.--- with time of course , I gained 

perspective, my critical faculty returned,I learned to dissect 

te nathional myths and saw the limitations of a ppeople that 

almo st made a fetish of its small-gage parochialism and its 

village-pump politics. I^fM^ing revealedx the fault lines of 

Sviss political culture better than the record of its d&siELKXKSi^ 

irft ÜA^ing up to jt:feÄxideals^ ^i&Z , in the issue that concerned me 

most pers onally, 

Yet, Yetv I retained a positive feeling of warmth and a sense 

of connectedness with the many landscapes that made up 

for our perceptions 
Switzerland on our at times almost annual vacation trips 

MSlxSiSXSxi» the country, our visit with friends and 

relatives, the renewsi of abond beyond reason, deeper than r 

reason, almost a lost para^ise of child hood dreams. 

That a member of the SWiss armed forced, their 

Citizen - army 
dx^aixariflyx KÜiHXHaxM^j^xwould be the first living creature to 

^eceive us on SWiss soil did not impress me as the paradox 
it seemed to many of my fellow refugees at that time. 
I had come from the most anarchic of human conditions in our 
c^entury ,hiding out from the most murderous persecution of 
recent European history, the chaos of homelessnness , even if the 
depth of the abyss across which we moved was not yeat clear to u| 
US. But I had had no truck with the Nazi order: my Community 
had been the liberal-äxÄMÄÄXÄfeiÄ order of Jewish Gemeind e life, 
a democratic Institution whose roots^in classical European 
history I was well aware of our communal freedom in the sea 
of totalitarian militarism. 

r^^^\ yCollective political experifence in CH witli accul turabion: jfp ( * 



*A ^ 


\'\' \ In 1815, tlie cantton/cit of bern lost Aargau and Wwaadt bufc 

fir /■j^ll was compensabed witli tlie Frencli Jura partsof tlie bishor^prico 
. Basle, securalized in 1798 (?). Bern discussed if Wre French 

sliould be aboloisued and replaced by a forced Germanization. 
(Bern never liked tlie jUra and did notlike Catliolics). 

Tlie discussiso ( Greyerz, Nation) ended witli tlie conclusion lita 

t enJxDced laguage cliange^s never work. Autliors recalled tlie 
exper^ience of old Bern witli Vaud wlierf centuries of f orce-f eedi 


— ' I 

German did not result in tangiijPble Germanizationm. 


Tlie skeleton in tlie closet of Western governments in Europe' 
was fear tliat tlie impoveriifebd Jewisli popularion of Eastern 
European states like POland or Eomania would swamp tliem 
wcjith" Kundif f eren tiated mass immigration . " Presumably, wlien t 
war and US legpislation lowered admission t^rmb«^ rates, 
prssure Oln Western Europe increased r'nrlre ENgl isli i mm laws of 1 
(?) liad only limited i mpact on numbers of Eastern 
Jews - tlie ^SA remained tlie tarC'get. Now in WW I,presures 
concentrated on on W Europe. France liad been admittingl arger 
numbers to compensate for tlie loss of men and tlie lowered birtli 
rate vis a vis ytlie German., until the (^^ression. FR became tli^ 



t open country for Polisfcli etc Jews in Western Europe. r 

, ♦■-'i 

Tli e Germans admitted about 100,000 Jews from tlie- Easti 
-ie r^esided in Gy in tlie late 1920s a 30s - liiglily visible 
social Problem images based on Berlin etc proletarian quarters 

and social frictions, blackma 


workmen's protests against fpod blackmaj^keang 

activity , Berli ff 




\|JW V 



^ ^J 





Tliis Image of bhe Rastern Jew becorae 

s Standard wil:li immigrafic 

autliorities in l920s:US immigration laWwS; Latin American 
restrictionism for Ruskis; German ant isemitic environmental 
priaicsisicxiaH support, motif in prop of Nazism. GB too restricts /f -^ 
all intrjlduce passports and visas wliere tliey do not apply to East 
Eur Jews. 



in tliel880s and 90s . Festspiel ; e celebrating pas 

Swiss unity and liistory ^symbol i ze strengbtliening of national 
cosnci ousnezs.Wilielm Teil defende d against critical derivation 
frpra Danish story. Thef peasants beg*n to org^ainze polibivcally 
as theireco Situation improves and team up witjh "Buerger" in 
cities form a conservative-national ist party r 

tlieir interests. In cities Heimatschutzbwewequn q embrcaes 


ntic nbationalist goals esp. in idealized image of 

rural folkism and cust©m, Swiss German language and literature,| 
no vels ( Tavel ) and pampli let li terature. HBW opposes 
advance of high German over Swiss German and works for redressincj 

nt/ Swiss habit /Opposefir but basic 

advance - study ing in Germa 



rift cailnoft be liealed.HBW is urban in origin and cliaracter. 

Context is neoromanti<^ and youtlimovm, ent national revival 
and simple life/like German ideology (Mosse), etc. 

• ■ * 

Antiliberal, antiurban, exclusivist of social reform, elitist, 
View of socie^tyl d/-ecade<5ntist because ofmass es tliat lack 

^Bi Idung", di f f ereht iating , folklore, seenin teriib/of 

i i 

conservat ive politics, ant isocial i st , seen as destruction of 
indiviudualistic values. antidemocrat ic their 1 inberal ism is 
become elitist, lielpless/despair to ever integrate masses into 


:ul 1 tural trad i t ion , demaguogery .and Qi^c^to 
i„lbafaa*£ recant midaieitclass ^aliotia - 

ona^^ism in polityics 


■f: , 

Liberal nationalism in GB turns into liblab wliile preserving 
Status and power structrire and let labor grwo into it over| 
time by reacliing out poll^vally to win tliem for midde-lib politics, 


nationpaism im^ perial ism etc. 

In Germany and CH gap is near rotal, a social wall and an 
intrelectual di vide. In CdBr first SPS Burat is 1945., of course 
pockets of SPS m Geneva, Vaud, Jura, Zuericjh etc. Scliaf f liausen. 


SPS in National rat. ^ 

Naef : 

. liis framework is Nationalstaat as dominating unit, a la 

Bismarck or ?]ricli Marcks. Liberal national ist, opening to inter- 

I conservative 

ntjatioQnalism with Voelkerbund but German KaxHÄ-nat critique: 

Failed re German demands, Victors' club, etc. Constructs 

ideal image of national seif -1 imi tation, sees nationalism agg ri e- 

ving impeding international order. Would be success i 

* u?. vi: i .'.. a te 

>^{Ly^ ^ ci4iii:^lgg:ajt:<fe!d feermany etc. into tjpj'e Bund like 1815 wliicli lie 

V^5| a misconttrues as lie overlooks tlie power aspects of tlie Vienna 
J 't; ü V arrantgemenmts etc. Like SRBIK wlio probably inspird liis view. 

\y ^'^^ ealier War Guilt book re^sta^eü German conservative 

l ^ of German innocence and links it to Versavl lesetc . 

Now in VB only appleal to neW^n^n, overcoming; sees no o-irpi^eiaalLonal 



\\j intef^rnatiOonal ism, VB will fail and UN will fail [^l^nless n 

ew man. 




trange failure of insti t/utional structural analysis of earlier pe 
periods i^i jke Staendestaat . Absol^tely no insiglit, lieritage of 
Ericit Marcks ? C<^^\ Xv\ \m/) X^xM-^M^^^ dlLA^ • 

£ fclAAJh 

■ •• / 

••i^. " 


Swiss and Jews 

Wiubli minuscule nr of Jews in CH - albeit 50 % not Swi£5S i 

.^U cantnal nabional^l jTin 1920s, Popular i mageiof Jews is tradibion, 

nal abcbracb from blie usual sources 


Cliristi anj blieologj 

/ peasanb villagepuKp menba liby bowards foreigners 




catble dealer or peddlMrs probably too small 

H KX\ 


.»..■. • 

«■ 41«- 

in^nr. bo liave major imp-cb, bub Aisabi an anbi sem sybereo- 
bypihg müst have spilled over, also rural-urban bens ions 
in menfcality or folklore; '~~' ~ ~- '-- - - — - 



t^^teittatir reqional ; Geneva Frencli Juif erranb bradibi 



Basel/ Bern: German peasanb disbrusb ebc 

f olklore 

Mosb Swiss liad never seen a Jew in -midcenbury. 
ClassesiBurger-menbaliby anbiJewisli sbabus snobism, , parb of 
sbabus Claim, protestanb bi^blicism.- ^- 

^ . _ . 1.» 


peasatobs - open bub mosb likely bibl ivcis4b-populisb-f olbrisb 
in cibies: Germaniuzed lower MC ? blie utual economic comperbibbi 
syndomme. ... _._. ■_,, ^ 

Unbil lat::er 19bh cenb., apparenbly refusal bo granb equaliby 
or emancipabion sugge^^bs sbrong sbereobype aga(^insb Jews in 
Aargau ebc. > . ./• 




^ ^ 

LOcal profib dominabes Ei nkaufen , ie money over AS if exisbing, 
New morive ; nob Jews bub German Frencli Ibalians ebc. 

_ x- ■ 

before WW I - see Ludwig sbory. Ueberf remdung as polibical probl 

q^ ■" " breacli ^ , 

lem. brak5 mbo blie opwn wibli WW I.: Belgian neubraliby gbeebed nb| 

Swiss press in German berms/ fr(|lglibens Frencli SWiss and 

lfeacl4;o Fre 

ly^npolizei - 

see Ludwig. 


• •-* 

— & 

Fremdenpol izei 

• ■. -j^' 

original ly c anfconal and linked witli politics oor^^ 

of infcerest. Swiss tradition ofopenness does not include Jews unt:il 
Bund agrees witli FR on Niederlassungsvertraege, in 1860. Füll Niederlassj 
freilieit granted witli Bu Verfassung of 187/ ? 

in 1900 ca, 

Abr 10,000 Jews and about tlie same # of aliens 

Attitüde and policies sli^ft witli rise of national 

cons^ciousaness^ovement later 19tli cent . - EUR nationalism in Swiss 
dress, Darwin andMaltlius elements combine witli cultural seif -assertion 
as Swiss ; Historiuc Festivals of late IQtli cent . express new sense 
of Swiss mytli of continuity, uni ty , f reedora, etc. Also stress * 



tofcerance agamst factfs - eg Ijuguenot story is Iss tlian accomodating . 

Tliere/lied been reistÄ^^cbScUN Switzerland towatsd settlement of migrant 


wlio would üost monet/ * ' * :^ * - - -^ -^ 

- . i. 

'^■"^^^ Witli nati onal unity and liistory mytli celebcfljipns 
attention is given to foreigner on Swisskoil: Germans, Frencli, ^^^^^ 
-- Italians in cities, see Ludwig for facts. Demographie Wysteria; by 200 
/|^^2000 50 % of popl will be foreign. Ueberf remdun^.. . i.,. .. 

Tese are not Jewsput neiglibors. ~- _ _ 

r/ /, I 

In WW I loifsening of llfeegal restrants and policepower indTr 

ease . 

Federal Fremden Pol founbded WW I, concentrates emergency powers in it 
__liands. SEes its task as defence^of SWiss Wesen in line witli HBW and 
New Heletisgne GesA^Defines desirable as able to assimilate and agree 

^ ■ . ^ ^ 

witli Swiss Wesen. Tlius bö definition anti-alien and sees itslTlf t1T5= 
^Ji^efnce of tlie nationmal substannce. Frempolt succeeds in reducing # 

bt 14. 7 'Jg? 8.5 in 1925, thus danger 

of aliens from a 

removed . 

■ganger recognized in 1914: Gerraan^a^a Swi 

SS parts f 


•■ ■!■ 





in danger .-s« FR Gerraan conf licts vtew 

— Kaiser atbends Swiss manoTivers and is wi^ildle cheered by Swiss 

— General Wille is pr^oBKussian 




— Breacli of ßelgian nbeutrality by Germans in 1914 is defirende^. 

by Bern (Swiss German?) press in GermanoMoJ twehr terms, a major breadl^c 

of Swiss def(/lensive neutflclism ie unpatriofcric and danger /o^i- 0^ 

major disunity in country, disloyalty and lack of geistige r Widersta| 
against possibfle German breach of f rentier. NB: NOT Jews 

( See Greyerz) — — ^ - *^ ■ - '- -- 

cliaracteristically , Police wants easing of citizensliip requ*i(rement 

) — - U 
for settlement of aliens, no racism, flexible uni t (^asloyal ty goes wie 

natio/i|ality . — - ' - . — . ., ^ _;. 


Jews • - - - ^. _. "''■■ 


' A 


, - — image of threat of mases of EQ^te^rn Jews ready to overrun tlie| 
- West and present social pr oblems appears to liave been linked witli 
.•_ WWI : no US immiGration, GB imm sto pped . Increase of Jews in 
Gy, FR. Everywhere alig/| police measures to co'iQtrol flow. police 
_.. follows bureaucratric task of diminisliiSng and preventing settlement 
of alien Jews. Note tliat Jews in Zuerftcli - main attraction - crfrcumvi 
police rules by u sing otlier aut li or ities to cement their c^Kaims' 
to be6g admitted. against police rule s Complaint: sleazy Jews use 
^ Swiss Citizens; pol ice overworked , can'tr control paperwork/ 
' language, character, Wesen is fremd. Jews will not assimilate. ' 
n.^, i^^ tf amous last words ). Result: resentment bire4-d-s-trtr, and police 

powers are not fully ret urned to constijt ional and legal autliori ties . 


1920s reaffi rm principles. \. ■■'-". 

.V Conflict be^tti/een Swiss bureaucratic governmental ism. Swias 


.;. • popu^latijion on cantonal and|< urban leyels^wlip do busin 
"' /" Jewisli immigr^ants, and Jews in need of retuge._ _ 

ess wilili 



image of 
Police t . 

Jew isnegative witli conserva tives ( HSBW) , bur-'AiAcrabs , 
1920s and 1930 reaffoim assimilarion and ability to 

as basic terms of romantric nationalism and HSBW, ^ 

-^ Jewisli refugee is economic refugee, not persecuted. /': ^ 

in 1933, depression lias lowered admissions and added new eco ^ " 
argument to restrictionism, ratlier gave eco argument new sbrengtg in 

calculuys . 


. i\ 

Pblic and politi^cal policies 

are seen as tradiional 

•. i 

in witli SWiss roleration for persecutees. Polibical refs admitted. 
For Jews temporary if funds etc or relatives, but ordered to 
leave country Wei terwanderunq . Switz as temporary asylum an life- 
saver . Pressure from Berlin adds caution on danger and damage botli 
'economic and miiitary, Officialdom esp|. some li(|iglier law trainid 
ministerial officials do business witli Germany or are sympatlietic to 

German viewpoint ~ linguistic adjustment to Gn^ AS noticeable in 
document^n Jews: NS Prop Ve^r judungs term like Swiss FrencJ|lli Germnisier 
sierung. Do Swiss know about tlieir use of lia^te tepnä" ? BVJratli 
leaves exeutive definition of tlie Situation to Police Cliief Rothmund 
who argues exclusion in context of toleration - Realpolitik tempered 
by ytraditioon of liumanism. Idea of Standing upto police or examining 
bases of policy did not occur to Swiss. WW I slißyws tliem extentof tlie^r 
dnger. ' , -^ _ .,, 

'"" Seen in contect Swiss admissions and policie^ls memoire up fa 
'av/orably agmst otlier countries, USA . /GB. Canö^-Austr^l ia . Latin 
America. General restrictionism, economic crises and i mpact of 
imms on labor and proij-fessi ons and local business. 





Bern police docs.speak of Ostjuden, fear of undiffernt- 
iabed imigrabion en m asse f romEast:ern Europe. (Ludw.) " : ', 
Generally, police tzf]racjices keep Jews sefctliiKlow - also CH is sfcill 
intliroe^of depression and lias liigh unemployment ^and as yet little 
eco. dynamism. Swiss emigr ate in large numbers. Pockefcs opoverfcy. 

onessionals in nativi 

rural depression. OVersupply of pr 
oriented employment: policies, 


Zuerich liad instifcuted dilabory policicies for granting Niederlaswsu 
•• fco Ost Juden in WW i . - ^ ~-_^ . ' - _ 

- 1933 policy reafilirmed witli stress ojf] liumane liandling 

of rules. Swiss in line witli Western imm policies. 

— > 1938 cliange: Austrian i^nvasion. Swiss stimulate 

.-.f .. - ■....-' 

German stamping (Jf J infco Jewisli passpiorts. Language ugly and 
±. . adjusted to Nazism beypnd need of Situation. 

L '. ■■■ -f- 

_ von Steiger lawyer for German Con Gen in Bern appoinfced Justice 
Depfc.liead, backs Rotliumnd tlie point man. Gry stalniglit no adjustment 
a j^ crisis. Cm tiglitened against asy lumseekers , v 
WW I irontter closed witli exceptions, military refugees in large 

## cross and leave ^gain. No impact of PouLstli atr^citi 

es on 


asylum seeksr, but witli o nset of deportation new emergency , fear of| 
masses of immms Aeerruning the frontier,Aug 4: closing to liolocrefs 
Belgium/FR. Reaffirm Jew as econ refugee image. Catastroplie . 

... l^^i.:. — 





ine th 

At midnight of JUne 13, 19431 slifep^ed across the i 
line that s^parated Nazi Germany from libaeral-democxratic 
Switzerland. My first memoir "In the Eye f the Storm" accounts 
for my youth in Germa ny as I grew from a happy childhood in 
the modern-i^rthodox culture of a Sputh-German town / to involv 
ment in a Zioist youth grmm^ five years of study, at the 
last (3€:=::t^tP5==g^reat:^^^ G^rro an ■■■■ jQMlo.h Institutes of advanced 
Jewish learning^iKxBHri±n,until ths^roud Jej^'wish Community 

,my last home in Germany^was sent to its death^>jin 


Germans stood by silently. Among those who acted on their 

beliefs or their emotions was tlje handful of German and 
SWiss Citizens whoÄhad helped us to save ourselves . Lotte 
Schloss, my PffirBfini rfn during tho^se harrowing wyears in Berlin 

and herS^^sies uircie^ aunt , Ludwig and iL 

se SchoQneberg,had otche 

strated our flight from rLausanne^Flfö=i^Äd^ ^ Jea n FRiedrich, 

a delegate of the SWiss Red Gross ^SÄrsctiig) Allied prisnoers -of-war 

in German camps f^^*8=&er±ia ^ Rudolf Caspary,a JiRii^/ Jurist/^ 


dismissed by the Nazi gover nment in 1933 

and Werner Keller, a n upper- echelon civil servant in the 

t.j > - » «t!.w 

Armament MInistry diiirected by ALbert SPeer. Josef 

Hoefler and his SWiss wife had guided Lotte, me.and a friend 
and fellow student to the frontier. Almost twp dözen other 
Jewish fugitives from Nazi persecution and murder in Eastern 
Europe were to benefit from his 

luntil iksx one of their proteges gave them away tu 
in a Gestapo interrogation . I married Lotte soon after we were 

reunited in Switzerland: 

our memoirs we hoped,will pr^eserve 




the condition of these worst of timesy, the^ir deeds mxjäHx' 

we r e ^j^^^ ¥S^i!? a""l( e 1 ||gnJ|!/ -t g the better times that followed. 

-^ for eight months 

•J V ^iSkipe high and tense drama ö^^livingAas a homeless 

itiveAsought fcy hunoreds of Javets and thp-» " - ^ "»rirp-e rsj j 


^ i 

,. /•• 

oa\^^** ' / r ^ÄÜxaKä travei ?hr ough Qestapo contr^^/.5 

^ Lvl— Crossing no mansland under af^üli moon 

covered by fast-moving clQuds - 'The experience 


b A r€^ 


*..j ^/. t t i ^J. J for years to come 
eiaotiponal lif e . 

i't ,H *' 

uld . " . 

;ied i'rom n^y 

f iiri niiTiiin of 

It also turned me into a life-1«- 

Switze^land and its people. a^ÄdtKxaHäxÄ^axHxJfcSKKkKiäxiayxx 

»e ^^ b l'iii(jiny Lpu yfce ist tT- f 

fe^t i c h u ü un d iGVGl bolQw nxjr QQOö f» gnd / j^S ü^lt gji:! ^ ^ jgftg Lhy umuLi o iial 


X r^'^sp^T^****"^*^^-'*'^ - 

5t«iM:^ -pessroraaraa^: 

^S^yxi>'<jxro^P^7^¥t^^ ^ man in a Swiss steel helmet and a grey-green un 
uniform /jstepped out of the shadow that had given him covery 
and stopped us within yards inside the SWiss side of the forest 


xu\rfrA,„h}^o rr^7l-|f.i nj , It was precisely the s 

Situation our Swiss contact in Berlin had warned us against. 

^lax About a year earlier, In August 1942, the hightest plitical a 

executiye ^ , ^ , 

HHKfiprxlt of the country, the Bundesrat ( Federal Council, i.e. 

^ Ot^d deny 

of ministers )had ui i iMa To b[xk±i|äh Je wish fugitives 

/asylum, ' itfaJ l; * "^ETrey £»1.1 nä mn (»# bona-wfide poltiical refugees. 

f returned 

Refugees identified as Jewish would be xkk^xjsxkX t the cöUi^ntry 

rhat ha 

t4i«(i^ had;?^ x|§e ffom- In mid-1943, the 

had 'prompted this action had ^^tz r^ood ^ ads had the govertnment ' s p 

•jpanic: From February 1942 on when the Nazi occupi ers had beguh 
to round up Jews inWstern Europe and deport them to their death 

in the East , numerous reeligious and civic groups had organized 





ramp Sierre (Siders). 




On December 1, 1943,1 was released from 
camp Sierre by the Swiss Alien Policeand the Zuericlj 
Administration of Labor Camps. Camp director Suess , 
a tough physical man / shaped by thevalue System of the 

^^ j construction s ite,his occupational habitat ,y| show|(n|| his 

recOrd my d^clift'ii.r© in ^äs " 
respect by requesting that I ^üixaMi/ his camp ledger in 

my own hand. The innkeeper for whom v/e had transported 


the firewood down the ravine 1$»^ invited me for a solidly 
wine-filled dinner to express his gratitude - nobody in ij^the 
equipe had broken a bone down the rocky slope. My comrades 
and friends, a small group of mosi-feiy Parisi an ref ugees, 
mostly second-generation immigrants from Eastern Europe, 
had met to send me off the evening before. we had B»t at 
work or in the "leisure time activities" the camp had sponsored 
to quell our rebelliousness . Reserve aru-eitLh:ß:£-^-s-i4e had changed 
into sympathy. It had been my first prolonged Immersion in 
a folk wisdom I had only known from books or rare personal 
contacts previously — the humanity and wisdom behind the 

Lrony|coverina the/absurdities of our lives, Kafka 's wound. 

our style, ^es L«i'eÄ>fuj^ the ultimate absurdity of being puni shed 
for being ourselves . Those six months since I had left my German- 
Jewish Shell had begun a learning process I would begrateful for 
0^ ifee-r^Äii_o^ royvoy-a-ge^Tj^gy had given me a cartoon drawn by a 

German political refugee, a professional artist :half -nude ,v^'Cn^ 




liberty flies me over the heads of mijwork crew at the 

/ i 


iej - 

willow stumps to freedom, their ironic faces and smiles 

challenging , my J-äie£^^=±?- beatif ic Tgxgression and the h^c^' 


ah, the German-Jewish tie I had riculed all my youth-move- 
ment aays, as if th4« ex ujperance neededp^an anchorVCo : 

^•- ^ .- Ju'^^d. 


down &Q--% 4iaLl I l ' OU 

be woighod 
Jai^e- a hoad . 

long metamorphosed^f 

ewish condesension towards the Eass.^^ ..^^^.. r-,^-^\ -^ -' 

hootilii_y uf m^ ^ ' uu Lk ^ i?«^ie^ ''^^ 

tolerancG/no less naive and cI-uaüjv in its ^ 

a ssumptions about the other . Here, in camp Sierre,we had shared 


A i 


a ränge of emotions th^t ref lected personalknd very individual re 

being interned and t li?(a^n±o^m~-i!}c 

actions to 

fu'ndei > the controye^ ^s^rangers . Ou 

r escape from authority, mine 

in Rejrin, thecirs in France, Holland, or Belgium, that "goldene Frei 
heif of our first seconds of flight, had also brought with it 

rare m ome: 



anarchy of the down -and- out ^ :fck^xxz 
^Mhjc The prey had outwitted the huntefSHowever n^iree feirai goalers 
turned out>^ -^o be. : We suffered from th e very pettiness of ö«-r 

^ach indivi dual and each cultural 

attitudes and behavio 


1 '^ 

ilv A 


group of intern:^es called up the 
that had shaped h*« liXe bef ore /h^ had landed in this labor camp. 

Each carried with him the memories ofour pains,ajid had no word as ye 
^v<P^^«>r v^l4<ai«>- all \a 

asAfresh and raw. .,^8^ I^^found comfort 

aHäxKSDttikiäÄÄki^our Community <»f silencei*^ I needed t 
comradeship/^vo Q f id t aj^e- bprame- s-o-i nany romovod fonc 

Leavvi;;^ the camp in >he remote RhQhe river y^ley 
on that beaujxttul December mofning in 194'^'^ '• 
e^filTthe mo^thorough break in my ^ "^ life^^te^ I was 


too ei>gulfed in the ^;?i5mises I saw dpening up Ip^ore me to--' 

-, .'*• 


* 1 

y through the 

ThetlDecember-day in 1943 when I mar^ 
to the railroa d Station of Sierre,the crisp sunny 

Winter morning of the Rhone valley reflected my feelings and my 


th oughts almost perfectly.I had once ^StSitM ^eg ained my free- 

.' » . 

dorn ^S2Äf/ the r aw feelings of my combat^ ^iveyouth rose up ä^sctH- 
as I raeved. and^^sang to myself\/^ into the dew-filled mist of the 

4.^1 'f ^"^ ^ } r 2/ 

morning/ . -c thejtrain mcSved up from Br ieg past 


Raron, Rilke ' s 

last resting place, and turned n orth into the mount ains 

J th 

to the Loetschberg Tunnel» ÖSI^n .^ gi e altfi akiuig serpentJnes 


ther of 

Swiss *= »-yi>.4c^c 11 » u^ry ing-enuife^^ h 

railroadin^ ' '' )iv>m.vvw|^ 

thpse breath-taking/^experiences. And IkepJ; 3^UUj .iA i4fl s to myself 

|aid ^^KR^^^g):ano 

in the empty compartment # as the train climbed down 

öÄte^^ the valley/jon alternating/sides . This"' sense of moving mI 

^ bothered | 

in f reedom, unb .urdened from whatever had iairjäsKsä me previously, 

travelling through a landscape that held no threats, whose 

>uli Ö K/ I4 CT VW 0\M^ 

people were ; M^giiti ^, not Ihm« 

adversaries or potential 

denouncers,]|(^came to d4«Hrrraf^ j||p my lexperiences ii^n^^:^ 


>R^jr -iJ^^^zl.^ my 4- r ^ -^^o 1 ff f ^ r 

come^ JJy 

i^Q r r o w 

-feH^^lunu uf tliu ü 

sure — er- 

a^ circum — - 

for many years to 


••■'■ ■ —W 


•■^r J. C?Ti - 

descri/Ded an irregulär a^^i^ i - aGCJmpl Gt TS triangle extendin^g from 

Geneva to the Upper Valais, with an 




of pl 

i ]^>^T the base, the sides culminat 
te vQfious iH?«-^^^ ro^^re^ East and West 
iers. For many years b^fene sense of 

t-er'the Upper 


in happ iness, remained associate 
-pas=ir I learned to associate with 


.thern-J 1. 



' Tm 




-^ ..', 

A^.a^^u^*a i^'*^ ^t i.n^^^'Ai^ly^; 


) • • 


ife inangod f rotn the neolithic lake-{iwelling I assisted in 

1 near ^ 

excavating durng my Student days in Bern^gb the Byzantine 

/vtreasures i^-^rtee t m » vC a^KKemi^Jre d Aa t Sion/t#) the £±s:fcKXEi±aH 

unique iÄter^iaa? space/lin the 12th Century Cistercian. cathedrall 

of Lausanne;»?* the living city-culture of SfiXK ikÄxfcßKRxx 

äxkaäxäÄKiiäKiäxtHXÄtKiäyxiHx ixsgHHJg^xihrKKxjCÄÄXÄxtkÄixiaxMÄäxMjcx: 

Bern where Lotte and J l^id the. grouna for .ourfuture -t W6 

tudi e s Wj: 


.te and .1 l?tid th 

married, I comp e lotcd my □ t 

^udi e s wath 4 ^ ] 


/• / 


planned our small family ^^ t^ie-'^craughter ,, born a few 
weesik aft^er we nrriirrrl rn New York in 1946. My,and I believe 
Lotte 's, Swiss experience became part of our recovery, even if 

i.n meeting 
f ,,v^^af i^rf],, u ,,,L. • 



I ' 

faci ng unknown situations ^ ( aimost /,^vac^ati^on5 

^N|Miwi^w^b ^^#e o v> -f ^! d- i»f ' 

we made no demands £xjaia barred as we were froiti ««fe«- society and 

politics. Our three years in t- ho country would raiiaKE ^'^^'^'<^^' 
(h"^^, of the/ / /i 

HK differentiate «ayxHixiaHK many /imagesj KRsLxx&^±K!s.Rjoe SWiss 

history and politics we r-e«emb^ as-^e st^ting paint^<ff ^ 

a«x ^^ r (M fr Tft r pa^ t o f Arne r 1 u a i^-3r^-g-/i n New York over many 








Of modern Swiss politics and economics hr ~ " — '^ ' 

In . QnriL?h(Jd 

yThe emotions of those first days and weeks hAVE BEE 
during all those years of vacation travel/a 
^ff^^Y^^s ÖT iroirr crn relü L i u ua , f riendships , T&j^Häi^rof essional L^e 

i^-nks /aciuss frontiers and continents. The years hni-c juXuiug 

"^^^^ Q^f^d helDed ^^^f.^ 

2^enthusiasms tTIa^^^^ÄÄxyÄfi axxaH:k;±iäiaiKK to hsi^smn^T^ the soci 

wounds of those pos^t^persecution years. Landsca^e and ceulture s 

a-t-mye emotTxms- as F- trav e l t 

e^htrs-^j^lod , 

I »'— ^vv_j. v^nj-v^ui^i i ^ - e t in JL X ± et jL U 1 vJ 11 L S ^wym fl Tt— «-^-uP 



the rememb^ed happiness of Wiose those 

rateful f 

Llme Ib lUMn im^oTTt K^ PM^^' 


When I arrived in Bern, the weather had turned from 
the sunny brilliance of the Valais to the soggy overcast skies 
of early Dezember Bern. Lotte waited for me at the Station, a welcome 
treat.During the next day or two/^ \gcing a Ittw^abidlng ulLlzen ^ I comp 

plied with the forma litie^ stamps in tiy refugee passport/ 

reöi§feration with the Bern Office of the /^öTTce / stamps from 

the Refugee Division of the Federal Fremdenpolizei for temporary 



residence ( one term changed to"unl ess revoked"a few months later)- 
stamps allpcating ratipned food ( sugar, fat), textiles and shoes; 

x rarnin gs-^'^enjoining poüce rules on delivering'^ all(assets to the 

federal government, strict proh^&feitions against gainful ^( or volunta 

tary and unpaid^^ employlnentyaS^xaH^j^^^oT^ a=€^4^H: Ly Qn€ i--^fty OY ^Ht^ 

"activity or behavior ( Taetigkeit o::derVerhalten) potentially 

detrimental to the policy ^f neutrality followed by the Bundesrat. 

At the Office of the cantonalpolice , another list of prohibitions : 

f ten-o'/clock curfew hours/travel rpfetr i cti^no unlooG sxKgitai:: 


iMxa^^ÄK«ÄXl5yx^K«xßi®üKK:^xu n 1 ess rescind e d - f o r ea u h -u^fertf i^fexxfekgxKJ^ikJ^g! 
^iriradvance fe^ the policej.wee^ Vfca>4yB , on set days afid^TLOur^ ^t the 
police precinct^'^'^o sign an afetendanAce sheet. tf— t-OiaxLlL 

s p ftsirtri-ve— p t) 1 1 u b? •"'l^NG^^A^- 

.«l^U^^lf^ of t^ timj8^Xli8/hunted to deat^h" unless/ I escaped, 
II would have bejjroaned Öatregimentation of jriy li 
^i^^Biru-t^^^tir—w^a-^g^ proud i^rrf — rt^ 

fe. by a demoer atAc sy\s 


i*H ■■»uJUifc^ 


As time went on, and the rr^ ixb iinifc c rc roBd desk officers at 

the precinct becAME familiär with 

U^ s 

XüTtB v US 


me«t öf ttei^ rules feil into disuse or were forgotten, 
including shor ter travels or curfews. Longer absences like 



4 summen >et> assisting 


profssorj^ 30(ti^ excavati^ irf a 

neOlitihic lake-dwelling were duly granted as was a beautiful two week 
vacation in the Fextal (Engadin) ^ ^^c;ye.f |y ,izv(il/^jV , i. wi^^Ui *^ (f\ u^y^ ^i 
yiJ-.'tiwil ^^^^ ^^^ famiiy of Heinrich Kleinert, a /respec ted Berrl 

^ f d ' J Aju^ ^' '^ ^^^^- dir o ct o r — crf Lhy Lea u h e r s-^- isretn ina-ry- fo*..^.gi^l s-jäü^ä*©^. We feil in wit 

\vv^*^^*^^'' 'what had become almost a patriotic sport in town, observing the strict 

rules on food and text ile rationing: I passed my excess sugar 

quota on to my landlady who in turn supplied me with her •-d^'i^'ei^us 

jams and canned fruit. When I taught Hebrew or lectured in fcks 

adult courses in the Gemeinde , or spent Friday evenings at the rabbi^ 

hpuse,nobody ever men tioned curfew ^n thniighL abouL iL. Vacation 

Visits with the Schoenebergs in Lausanne were casually mentionedy> to 
explain gaps in the weekly register. Everybody forgot about the 
RiaxxHxkxrjäiK travel ban when I attended meetings of i:kfix&±KKJfcKiäxx 
Jewish organizations in Zuerich or Geneva, or \ireTrtr-to ^sessions of the 

"refugee parliament" convened by the Swiss Fluechtlinqshilf e in 1945/ 

o^vi - t-Q — &e^t xxiäs r^ gainful 

^ 46. And even my police friends ytrie("''"- '- 

when they produced a Swiss sculptor qhq cjay- in the precinct Office 


C?«' e^ VxöU^h^if^^^ wanted to hire me, the ex-rabbi of record, i as ainodeJ^ 


s-'^^A can-jur. employed me in 1945/46 

Ac'vvv Ulö«M()<.t\i «if «öx on the eugges tion of the Dean's Office to improve the language 

1^ of. his dissertation . nnM 


C ^ 

ssertation. Duing the same winter,an Austrian refugee, Dr/ 
FRiedjung, and I published an Information bulletin onlre-migrati - on 
oiS^porti in i- ^rreis as the wa r drew a close - myAf^eis "^uff iced to acquire a 

smaii portable jHermtfs typewriter on the instalment plan^o:f 



|(^ additionaj dpocument I signed that. dax-af--arf i-ved~4^i 
Bern committ*d me Co leave SWITZERLand at the earliest 
possible opportunity. 
Afe- bhat poi ^teV I w ou Id have si gned anything |ias long as I 
would be able to walk up the footpath that connected the 

Street and railroad-stat*(ion# leveifwffTiW*luiTdl4g TT^ 

on the hin - the univergity »the next morning arrd starl/my 
first historyt class .' Httg-^onoo bha -t This was the most egregious 
Gluecksfall ,,the Swiss "of f icial •• System of h igher education 
had given me ■• a place" as a beginner, a "regulär inatricu{/l ated 

Student in its Division Philosophy One"( F-Äteüi^eet Philosophische 

n ^'^ 

\S Fakultaet Eins)0wiped out memories of prison and camp: we had 

woft -ovor th(^m/- ^his was the ultimate conf irmation . From the distan 
ceof more than half-a-century , with the experience of 42 years 
HHxXKaiskxHgxaHiäxrKSHarjshx of citizenship in academic institutions , 
those firat days m Bern ^mk' a ciue » my reluctan 


t memory absHix 

some of the lomg-range sequelae of growing up ostrcized in 


zi Germany- What had been routine and ordinary expectancy 

il^j tw 


for the hundreds or^thousands of students in the collegejfand und- 
versitysiHitaHfcKX classr«©«« l44^4ighiy, i n New York and Berlin/ 
fc^^BÄ-r at that moment and for a long time to come, b e GQm e an 
extraordmary privi lege l|had been denied in i Arimy , a gift I had 

to earn.The complex feeling tone all this created as I found 
my place in "my class of 1946"^would forever be linked with the 


remam among the happiest, ittd carefree, years,- of my youth. 

/ 4 : ' 



o4 /(Hi evJ"itc (ma^ . 

I 'i 

( , 


ol C rßaii; 

nyv e therpo i n t — -f ^il nw-i ng jnjL_ r^^i ^p><:!p f rom 

considered necessary for my freedom to study. That day in 
Decejnber 1 9 4 3 ,^ **--^re^ined a small price tp pay^ 'and i 

P pay/\ 

much did 

not aply to me in any event . I had no money to depositJnof 
politics to pursue, I would leav^ at the earliest oportunity, ^>^^ 

l -^ M the federal police .dppe^i.£fid/tarixious eab^g^ to have 

s±Q]^_ j^^j i ^ r Q 1 d e e; h ^H£^a^^-txm3:^:^t u-^h^^^ . Compared 


^ftri — d e e ? i- a-g^^%i-on:5 

eIX«^t . Compared tp my grKxxHiis 

years in B erlin, and to living under guard in prison and in camps 

the rules offered no hardships. 

in Sw^itzerland , I could see teir point when they tried to 

restrict the free movement of for eign residents who may Iföil^e^ 

plot to make trouble, even if t^^pr 19th Century styleS/of 

Controls seemed äi^msB^ friendly to me when I thought 

of the Cestpo methods I have been able to evade. In fact, J^ 

at several point of my study years in Bernii;, I feit I had 

moree freedom than my male SWiss fellow stu dents - they were 

On active dutyin th e SWiss army and had to report to th eir units' 

on the shortest of notices^dust off the uniforms that hung 

A / their | 

in t heir closQf§|t/ and p ck up rif les ani other gear :£xaMx 

iikH±rxKHxxiäBirxx,even if theior examinati ons at school had been 
imminent. The people I would come in contact with in Bern 
seemed to obey their rules - rationing being the daily reminder 
that there was a war going on - an I feil in easily with 

adopting their framework. 

jW^i sJ^^Jjo 

in truth the best of time and the worst of time,the past 

accepted and the pas 

• • 

t denpi 

erVthe^f uture f oreshortenqd by the 

UaO^ W A 



by thefirefugee visa^^ until further 

civic rootlessness 

notice - and the student's excess ofyp -össibility resting onj/iis 

thin and fleeting realties^the tenta tives . of our i^^ff condition, 

the unfathomable 



})i^U, .pOl/. (r>IciA^lg/Uvi . .. . l^^l. 


fiyi'^ cLi^ull ^-^, 











*:>r Wicrf I 'yux>- ho 9 

.■'\ \t.. \ 






f vi V s ü 7 

K/. L'V, (tt/ 




;• j 1 

^ J.i c 

. e>.-^.-^.ct;i ,11) M'H^^ 
/f/l FU VlAJk, /5,t..^iA 




^revu/uu Mcc^Aß^^ 







Thet Idf had selected Bern rafckefc fchaw Zuerich or Basel, the other 

(^Swiss university towns of renown, had bssnxx not been based on rational 

argumenta. As I recounted earlier, I had been in Zuerich and Basel 

long enough previously to form auximpressions, maybe prejudoces.Bem I 

walked--<t±Lro«gh when I had enoughsxleiure between trainc connectior/preobably 

^^' the/ / 

while I was still conf ined to Buesserach quarantine or early- on-Jrt^:my^=^^ 

at-ۀnp Sierre. Bern bercame the intuitive choice toe satisfy what 
JE thought 

(T needed . ^large enough and inteimational enough to avoid the narrowness of 
a petty bourge ieie, public space reaching bACK TO to the past, the u^^j)^\c c\^<!^ 
excitement of a town center, ÖiHxiaKässapH , the govemment cmitsx^ seat^ 
a STcia±i Jewish Community, nakMxaixfeHHKLk^Dc , a beautiful ewnvironment 
for swinming and hiking. I would find the atmosphere in Bern toa that would give 


'igxwhat happened 


me the peace I needed to begin ikiac^xÄXXKigxwnai: nappeneo "CO^xtS'^^iHSSöcsome 


may ^^e®^^^^™**^^^^^^^^^®^^^^''^^^®^^*' ~ ^^^^ ^^ explore gen^>ral his- 

detnnine'^^ ^the pl ace pf 

and placg JewisK Kistory mto its contecxts, ms all mye teachers in Berlin 


hadpostulated as an axiom - 

I wished for a place untouched by contentions 
n looking for the^«si§Fffle^gS!^§!?o^i^^^«^^ 


we had just ecspapd^ 

"The history of the Jews in Genna^TY hads to be guided along a 
line that will t^ko i^s rif ■; recrtion as much from German hist ory in 
QeneraL AS FROM THE GENERAL fffig3fS)RXxSSx9öööc Jewish histoiy." 
(Taeubler, Eugen, see Haverkamp Sonderdruck 1996 p.lll) 

"1^ knew that J would not find a Jeqwish Studies Department in a Swiss 

unibversity ;^t that time - 1943. But I hoped t hat I wouild find enough 

Y§elevant scholaersriip in the Bern Protestant-Theolo gie Department ( FakultAET)| 

Old Testament, history of religion, maybe others) toround out my 

Hochschule specialization . J dould look^ to enroUn European history 

and in pre-history (preliterate acraehology), expecting, as it tumed out nai^ 

neively, that it would raise some big evolutionary questions and link up 

with early civilizations on the model of Grumach's scholarship. 



THe next: morning, I woke uo early, took te sliort: walk to 
university. Atttlie t:ime, y|u would reacli tlie main building by Walking 
a foot bridge across tlie railroad hracks,t:lien up a sliorh patli fco fclie park tliat 
led t:o fclie entrance. It was only tlien that I discovered tliatits style closely 
rsembled fclie sfcyle of fclie MJerzburg buißeiing. Coming probably from tlie same perii 
period ^5 sfcyle,^^^^ symbolisä^SHS^^ÄM^fr^ lialls and broaf sfcaircas 

, decorated wifcJi marbleentyrance lialls and some busts of greatBern scliolars, 
Since I never liad been inside tlie Wuerzburg univer sty building, ifc was 
no more tlian a coincidence probably expresing fclie ciic pride of an insitution 
fchafc owed its foundation fco theliberal 19tli Century, j j^^^ writ fcen fcJie 
admissions committee aboufc my lafceness and ifcs bureauvcratic reasons v/liicli 
feil wll within tlie univbersifcy 's vocabulary and preenfced no difficulty. I 
obfcain would obtain tJie permission of tlie professors teaiMiing tlie courses and 
make a special effort to^fpffi^eHfe^ÖatiS seminar tauglit jiintly that term by 
the classics abd tlie history departments. . tlie administrative liead of tlie 
faculty, Miss Crivel li was just tlie riglit person to quiet wliatever unrest you 
fei: being late. a friendly and raofclierly figure always clad in dark colors 
and long skirts suggesfcing many years of ecxperience and immense good will, 
and of acquainfcance wifcli fresliman confusion and bureaucrafcic ways of tliinking. 
Slie and her associate, a Mr.Jolist, provided a personal toucli to tlie anonymity 
and formal ity fclie building liad suggesfced. jwould undersfcand töm her 
deep involvement with fclie lives of sfcudejtswhen I she joined a field-fcrip 
organizseiby fclie k±slaarjc, arfc/ and pre-liisfcory insfcructors infco fclie Rhone 

Valley and the Lake Geneva region. 

The faculfcy=was equally welcoming : lenrolled in two departjnenfc, 

Profcesfcanfc Thgeology and HumanifcieS; ^Tliere was no Jewisli Sfcudi4sorJudaistics 
DepFtmantTat any German- 1 anguäge university at fchafc time. A remarkable 
innovafcion at Bern University owed ifcs exisfcence to the doggedly liberal and 
tolerant ( and, I presume, anti-Cat^holic) spirit of fefee Swiss I9th 
Century history: The Universofcy had made room for a secessionisfc Cafcholic 
movement that had sprung up inresponse to the ^i^ÄM^^^H^^ of ^-^^^ 
Clmrcli under Pio Nino toward papalism and dogmaUic antimodernisip^ t^at Jiad 
found expression in tlie Infallibility Doctrin embraced by tlige ^jgSÖW- Council 
of ]87o/f4 LI berat- Protestant; Bern made room for the Secessionists, tlie 
/^öld catliolic«^^^ yVl/fUIf.f 


J| U A fe^ 




.e ntries and stramps I needed to 

y My f irst day in Pem was spent with obtaining the 
', satisfy f/^e 

/ ^ 

and municipal 


authorities -f ederaj. . cantonal 


controlliBä^iny new Status. I had beenn granted tem^rary leave 

from camp intemment and permissiion to study one term at the universifty 


of Bern. The damp cold of the day did not damp' my ximsx excitement: Ixf^äxtakHKxx 
xthKxsJfcHgJxixkaiä This wa<= a new beginning, ändlother of those unlikely tums that)io<c/) 
seemed to add up to a sense almost of being favorea/"kept alive while orgies 
of death, of forced separations. engulf ed all around me.y^Bfy last stop^'Tiao been 
a police precinct in Kramgasse .«pw I took my first stroll through -^ town/ 



got a first sense of its outlayl in a bena in the AAre river^^^tried to 
oimagine the centuries tha^rpwde/d each other in the neat rows of patriciai 



h©»Ses~, the mixture of food 

\y I - 

/ f 

/and luxury 



v/atcheSyand iewe.iry 



As it got dark, I caught a first glimpse of the near hills from the Bundesterasse 
clouds hiding the distant Alpine mountain chains **Hi-^"; def ined the town 's 
. topography "in thn ffmttrrH e^ and that I would become familiär withl to take 
, i\ ^ ! i/ff)^ qranted. It V70uld take me cfuite some time toi ^söSBe 1^t/feeling of 

elation, the ssRSHxiaf kxejk^x the physical high, the heightened wware ness sf 
of the new urban spacetr wqould placeV later on into ^^ historicj-assoGiations 
^ \\ [ thair wbü 3dd^=:^og8^ th^ first day<k mosing and phantasies tki historic ^«^iJLy ^äh^ 

A^^ uF^e3^^iipf5^ -fllW^^Tifee years in towrj(fs^^EWi»ö!e^ttie mos\ir rteneJ s. ve Jly=±±gg» ^years of 


my life. I would marry Lottein Bern, aHjäxKhectcthe^ , groürid m^^oolf '^in ^ 
il'lthe universal context . vA^öi^-^tx^undaries I had not /feached^^e^ ^y ggiUlibfauLi en 
in my Judaistic and classical studies in Berlin. Now.finally / I would 
live in an atmosphere where Jewish tradition and Jewish cQmmunal history, 
would be embedded in aj" European spac^^'tFiekind of 'Teal history " i o /T / 
Liil? ( ( M|iini sJSsffiKäxf BIX {^Q^öcted-iftte t^ European space , I ssRSsiä imagined takiiig 
place behind these historic f acades j^leep came tast in my smäll hdtei room at the| 
Blaue Kreuz , a h^oe^/managÄed by the Women's Temperance League in mid-town. 

: ( — - — '^ 

\i[c»l h^ 


"We were nerman Jews 


P -< ^ 

ll'\0[-^L I 


It sionifies my sense o^ returing to "normality 


thAT J do mot retain precise details of my first days or ^months 
in Bern. I r emember feelings akin to fallling in ^ove witn 

the town, walmg upn AND ^OWM THE* SIDEWALKS li>r\inq its rreior 

h ^ ^ .. 

thoroughf ares , paying a first visit to the Square in front 

of the Gothic M uenster,to the teT?^:a^e$7fromting teh steep cvut the 

river Aare had drilled into the landscape t^at fd^vra^d€< high nature 

' th'^t"TnQg^-4:iax re fgorm c d 

"U" formation on three of Its four sides, forming a nattural defensove 

System beforecannon and gun powder made it obso/ete. Thöpast was aLl 



airpund you, , the 19th centuiry visible across the r(^ver, the rac 

Station mak^ing the point where the formatipon of streets and houses suÄQested 

the end of the anc^ent town and the beg9nning of the 19th Century 


sxsfcsMsiiaKXKjf grwoth of new burgher and workers' Cfuarters. Pehind the Station 

I ca4^ht a g].impse of t he unioversory ^b uidllding -^^rprisingly 

similar to the Neue TJniversitaet Wuerzburg, familiär from years of passing 

it on my way to towni 


. Tt would become the main center of 
my lifew in Bern, jxdjl first universoty J had entered in my KgxyfiäXNX 


Nothing was visible of qwhat I expected to becomelny second 
center: : where w^s th^e synagogue and the Jewish Congregation ? 
The direct)nons I asked on the Square frlonting the stat^ion and 
an obviously and ^comf j^ortingly Jew^'sh deartment störe, Loeb's, were easy to 
f Ol low.^^'-anö^' 

ess than fitve minuteAHS walk: an unassumoing building strdlinq a 

coererenr ofa street named 



I p^iresumed the conmgregation wa sinal3. as was its synagogue, as was 
the irr^ressuons the old center of town cvonveyed o f the capital of 
Switzerland. It was what I had hohped for: a quioet respite after 
the ctatsriphge I had just escaped , a rertum to the basics of 
my life, the fanous "creative paUSE" = schoepfersche Pause = whx 


of the p^^sychologV books before Coica-Cola vulgariz< 

«- / If 

d-and-eommereial4z3d the term. I had to find peace and quiet to take 

stock , the human dimensions of town^ university nd spiagoague 
held out the promis^i^e That ^ne vould regain mastyery^f over 
one's direction. the diastole, the everyday, It would take place in a 
comunity that would not incessantly force you into defence 
strategies^ the bu^tcher snd t^he baker would 

have just as mciah relevance and salience in your J-ife as^ the policeman , 
and the grocer \fc\o 

haa- loom e d t ju Idijyew^ hiif 6 yoru>^ere f / 

being hunted. 



\ / 

On June 12, 1943, neutral Switzrland saved my life 
from certam murder by tfee Nazi Je3rJd.4^^^'engifte I haedMi^Eä 
eluded by hiding frrn n Lheir b u u e ie -b- polic o in war-time 
Berlin^ I had crossed the frontier between Germany and 
Switzerland accompanief d by a fellow Student, Lutz Ehrlich. 
Six weeks earlier , Lotte ,who had shared those ever-tiuhter 

^ AT 

months and years in Berlin wi^h me,had , crossed the same frontier 
in the same 

n with me,had cn 

^^-^r^t^i^4r. She had been guided by the 

same froniersman who had led us to the tree-covered hill fr 


which we overlooked a highway and observed the German custom 

officers patrollingit on blcyclessttd-^ I-cp rorrro m rr^'-TiJi^f uut^ from" 

their guardhouses (jertt^r-fter i T he ( T erma rr"'gli fe 4n rcgul o-r 

~tn±^tü^»=an5K It took us about 90 minutes to walk and d uck 

run the few hundert ya rds across the road and through the fields 


separating us from fcho woode 

the borders. i had often 

t style hide=and-seek with the jjewish you th 


group in my SOuth-German hometown of Wuerzburg in t^te-currounding 
forests and meadows n^ t— r^fero oimilar to wh^rt we faced that niuht. 
The (d ate we^chose^n coincided with Whitsuntide, Pfingsten, 

a traditional weekend of picknicks and outings in nrirmnni that would 
bring out crowds and t lrü^ adüi L i u- tiul cover ^4 g^-ärft-st'-bhoi^aii^-t^ 
p-olicciudll "uhtiCRlng öur^^h•ai:'fYf ake-^j>a|>^^©^ Unf ortunately , we had 
ch osen a Mght night i^i^d^r ä neärly füll moon^>a^4 ä? bHrs^t-^ i-ß^ä— -^ 
. ^*^^ a^J^Q w^ri littlo t imo ---bo— fa^ie Droken clouds to cov^'i-i-fes 

6 _ p:a^te:|l±gi^ . Lotte, bbw s^\ 

C C 1/ ^' c-eÄt^^-f-e^f-r^f-ugee«-- 4*«^ abo v.a~— 4Ae'--S^i^ns-"-^h-ore-^f LsrkB'nG'OT'i^va-- 

ne^ M^h of — r jjiubmffi ^^ 

'd m '^ inllltaTy--e€LC££t*J^n 


y^was watching the same cloud-pattern liS few hundred miles 

to the SOuth wit h equal concern - she knew what this night 
held for me and for both of us, slavery- even death- or freedom, 
the Bibllcsl mantra for the exodus from Egypt. 

We have told our stories in accounts we published 
some years ago(l). 

When we had reached the edgeof the forest our guide \ 
had pointed out as tne SWss frontier, we were stopped almost instentj 
ly by a f rontierguard I could instantly identify as non-German 
by the f latter form of his steel-helmet . He probaoiy observed us 

for some time with the field glasses dangling from his shoul ders, 

and had readied his carbine, just in case. we had been told by 

a SWiss Red Gross official in Berlin that Coming without papers 

or a Visa to enter the country - unobtainable of course for 

a homeless fugitive in Nazi Berjin - we might ve sent back on the 

spot. " W^ are political refugees in danger of our lives in 

Germany-shoot us right here if you want to send us back" . "We Swis 

don't shoot that fast". He iHHkxHsxxRiHXKMsJbjadjcxaHäxwalked us 

to ikÄxl4ÄXi5xRx)tÄiÄ»xRÄii«Äxxx«i5Ä J^iÄÄ . h i s post where we were turned 

to a police officer they had roused from Xi« sleep. I had been 

sei zed by a hot fl^sh of joy ^üSJxicSÜS^SS^^^ "^he sudden 

change from nervous readiness for whatever threat may have meant 

discovery , arrest, depor tation and death to being saf e .XK^xltMÄX( 

I was confined by the not ne enemies 

^öä^ö^jJxfei^xiiJl^xf i^st armed men or police that would kushkxkkü 

I had met in all the twentyfive years of my life. The flash subsid 

ded,my mind returned to its accustomed rationality and critical 

bend . W^iat was left was a warm spot for "Switzerland" , and 
"the SWiss 


"the Swiss",a willingnss to overlook their "rough edges", a 
sense of Community, of curiosity, of wondermment, elation about 
its unique landscapes, echos of childhood vacations with the entire 
family in the Bavarian Alps, admiration for the character they 
had given totheir cities, their manicured fi elds, their vineyards, 
the unique side-by-side of natural beauty, history, and civilized 

life. I never quite lost the sense of being jSHxxaKH^iHRXxaHJtxx 


unencumbered even as I understood the shortcomings , the price they 

paid, their parochial limitations , the nawrrowness and lack of , 

had e 
economic opportunities that turneävery fifth SWiss into an emigre 

during the first parts of the twentieth Century. 

This sense of immense relief proably also cush io ned me| 
fee'fing ^^^d 

against the skhse of beingj5@Q^%|9gß^g^^ conf ined ^ unf ree, thal^^MixXÄ^ 

s e 1 z e 

many of my fellow fug itives to Switzerland kxi^kxxkhkk^xx ^g time wentl 

on.There was of course a reality component in the condition refugees 

..-*-._ , . rr,^ ^«^ ^ ^ -pSYChological realit 

d::Ö?e=?ffe found themselves m. The mantra did not fit the E^^fiÄHÄXÄix 

the individual refugee experienced. I had lived in the anarchic 

had ■ ' ^ 

marginality of the fugitive that Zola caught in "Les Miserables". 

TvT ^T . , , -R Keina cbnsciöusÄÄ^Ä^ 

At its margin loomed arrest deportationf dgatnVtkÄXKÄllÄMMiäKSÄÄa^lcxxx 

the need to dare the limits. 

_of my absolute vulnerability V^J' 
*xxXÄXxÄÄHS«J^«il»xÄ$ tended tO sharpen 

^f course, different;- from those whom the Nazi 'categories had 
made into Jews re-lfet4^fe~-t^-%h:el-ir-'^^ I had been 

part of severai Jewish communities whose inner freedom^v living 
Judaism iTr-i:h^i^---gTxrcrpi5\had not been suspended by the external 

slavery that with thime encroached on it andin the end destroyed 

it by force and violence. I had entered Switzerland to gain ^j^^^ä!^» 

from persecution and oppression, but at the price of losing my civic 

freedom. THe Swiss System of daaling with the influx of Iak..^ 

\\0h^ >M\\\(^i^ 6 li^»D ^arge 

number of /yTuglStlves from Nazi persecution, jewish or non-Jewi h 



had probably rea ched a transient peak by JUne 1943 when 

we arrived "Schriften los"( without identity papers) and lacking 

• • 

even minimal means of support . During the 1930s, refugees 
even in large numbers, had been placed under t he/j Jurisdiction 
of the local ( cant onal) police departments ^ä^^ -t^re^ re-t^-trinre^y 
^iö^ federal Fremdenplizei ( Alien Police Department) of the 
central government in Bern. From the very beginning (around the time 
of World WAR One) it had understood its task as rest- r ictionist- 
0^ \^ - 0n:e=s^e=t--^^ amateurisjb%Y|population statistics had projected 

that foreign natio nals - German, French, Italian- would outnumber 
SWiss nationals by 1990 (Ludwig 61). Romantic nationalism ( Heimats 
Schutzbewegung), French-German e thnic tension among SWiss on 
neutali^ty in World War One, animosity against Jews or iginatiirtng in| 
Eastern Europe appear to have reenforced the influence of the 
federal over the local jurisdictions : it had been customary for 
city and village administrations before (and after) Worli War oNe 

to welcome wealthy foreign residents as potential contributprs 

tolocal tax levies and to award them Citizens ' ri ghts. Since 

Swiss from the poorer parts of the country/or enterprising 

young persone in search of careers^ had #migrated abro ad in 
^ubstanjtial/ ^ , l^i^^^ ^ 

numBer and the federal government had entered into/) treat /f^s 

ai'lied at their proteepfeio n the gtrvet^nrmeirt saw itself limited in 

measures directed against foreign nationals in Switzerland. 

Germany in 1933, industrial countries yl 

When Hitler 

the World over Inclduing the UNmited Satates, and such ^^£q^^ 

pHHXiy underpopulated countries li^te Sustralia j>r Canada a« 

^T^^^a-e— the Latin American states^ severely r-es4;jiic-tre d new 

At midnight of June 12, 1943, I sneaked :kkKiäMgkxa Jense 



n e (»f 



the homeless life 

of a gentleman-outlaw in the large city of Berlin, ij^g^ilS^^^^®^^^^^^^ 

If I. had been caught I owpuld have 

ir i^naa v^^^n caugnt I owp 


deported to 




A few jTionth^ later, o 


September 18 , 1943 ("Ev ening edition"), the s^^^s^^ää published a 

leg al notice in the 


conf iscat'ion 






the Reich. announcxÄg the 


//4 K lc\ 



JiC v^y^» 




W f^^CN 



ß«8ßgfiiXxS^'Communist$"and>' Reichsfeind 
t he""^^ t atre* . lir-^w^i s th o ■ only , oAginKi^h a 

had learned 


- Gestapo) KHiäxfckia Sex^in jjÄÄJcxÄÄJsiXÄ of 

ir^ escape 




abroad.' was of course one of many thousands xkiss^ namev/vould 

be listed i^^ t his- m a^fte-f^—j: 



before tb^ Reich tollap-sed in;<i 

ä^ßiaax m this "Reichs-und Preussischer S^aatsanzeiger " . Under 

another decree issued by SS- and Police Chief Heinrich Himmler 

on Decerpber 25, 1941, my flight aboad also Äl4iÄiJöÄiiiSÄiix 


deprived automatically 

äÄSKiSä me of jj »$r German^ nationality. 

Of coi inse/ 

The first part of my Memoirs ( 


(Note 2) teils the story. ^ih^^^tice was, in bureaucratic parlnce, 

a £iaxMa±±:k3c "legai formality" because I owedonly the furniture of 

my room and my Student library of JUDAICA AND v/or-)cs~im- ph ilosop^y arj 

and literature whose o^ntimontal value/ far su rpassed its market 

numrous ities 
price. It was incongruous, an absurdity among the absurd ii:fÄx 

t^^a-tr-m ado up my life in war-time Nazi GermanyiThe £±mäme:h revenue 

Service needed apiece of legal make-belief to pj: q)^^ e &g^-iAe4 r theft$ 
t?rthe ghastly compartmentala zation of German pa-^ KJ e\ t i o n5- 28^ 

\A/0<A^ Wvdl^ 

that fegö ma(ie the holocaust possible. 

Hiding from the police and l^hHXMl5ii|Mil5:HMXxx 

minimizing contacts with MHkHSXK others who might have belonged 

to the ubiquitous army of informers had give 



n our lives ine Berl 

Im a- eafelaw's f^^^eedoMS the rootlessness of persons without 


Q a'y\^c 



y Y^ö. c/ Äi / 





in the midst of v- t o t q 1 i t q giii an 

yoid repetitive 





HgxÄXgÄHXZÄÄ behavior 



like eatmg at the same resurants , taking the same public trans- 



portation at the same times from the same st ations or busstops 


on the same benches in public parksfat identical times of 


kH dayor evening. Rpnnminwj...A ■Mr-Q-rngp^it j^ ct.x-; ^- ..^^;^^j^ ^ griyc 




ujs. fugit^xvesan- e^sITabished l^galdef inition of sojour 


or a limited time on the sufferance of the Federal Police 

/ of 
ection for Foreigners andnumerous provincial (cantonal) and 



ocal authorities that make up thr pHl:±:k±xa±xx federal polt;ical 
tructure of the country, 


On June 12, Whits^untide weekend, 
Switzerland gained the central place in my life that almost made 
it a second home to me. I escaped across ä moon- 
lit f rentier from Nszi Germany t^r^Swtt^crlJAndj Lotte / my /^ 
best fr iend and companion, had taken the same egroapc route 
six weeks earlier. We had been guided by the same German 

f ronti^ersman, a factory worker, and his SWiss wifQ>> 

flcquaintances and friends \«to had helped us to 

survive years of Nazi persec ut6on in Berli/i/aa»d seven 

months SÜgit^EötteD homelessawwvthe "under ground"^ 

W> A A \^ 

rtJli-— *««i4Ä|^— 

-^ nevex.,^^JEauncii tho,. 

dotram^nt^^-tha » g su id help me to identi^y- -the va-^id ^y^^^ v/aH n iA/^ })cji^< 

fe:^(H:xa«ß[(XK^acfe:icQaxxfe:Katiaxx(^^ %^ thoir ^Gath /Oi/j/nlioi^fJ y,^ 

St^^k/cÄXSt^xÄiK: L o- ttQ's pag Q ntx s» " ( a n d w ei;t4r^ -ha ve-- 

Lotte and I have described Wire inorcKJAble accidenti^ ^^'^ 


narrow escapes, the Jewish and Christian Germans who \\ ciJi 

fbiig4ßq^0t^kr~T?5d culminated iM that mi 



the SWiss frontier 

Berlin Hoc 

3/ i^xiv=: ucwxon 

* I V 


#^Jr^lrei^ s t udeiiL rium — bi^e— 

er die Wissensc haft des Judentuitis, Lut^ 

.Lotte kraiJt go ne d neaiMy luuLe Lhiuiiyh -irh^-^^ffl^^ 

■e — Lniuüuii 
knew of Lh u üal L i o f ou - r 


T^Töm B n s 1 a)pi3--sdrx weeTTs^eär 4X04»;?^ 

tching the same fasfc clouds 


and k^f^our passage across ^^^-^hir ghway an d o ponl^ ficldj^ . 

The euphoria of having eluded them,of suddenly being 


need to be watchful, to play 

free of the - ovor 

roleyhidlNig my identity while I t^lied 
aiaiU4:jijjJ.aUwyii g|cross Berlin -search rWfood, shelter, 
fl(r ai 

identity card authentic enough to fool police or 
the military - We had bested them, we fooled them, we U^L 
survived against those imbelievable odds,-> ^s the tension receded 

a sense oftriumpn f 


r-e^i ry "wa s- iQ rgely n i^t 


<A VI e4o— 

la^-b^dy cheinistry overwhelmed thu "fuLlluy Luhl • 

t^-5^;= ^^aa..uu^,:b^t^d jny »^^ selfV!i;ät.:iil^4l4^ 

reality. fhe bilical mantra)we roci 

. .- /ei iiig+rbs 

Ä^bi\a;Ji^ p^^^^\^^^' Y)Pu^r.)f' 

e high y6^ ourdeli i eJ ' ci /i(5l^^/^^ ^^ -^ 

rom slavery to freedom - 
colored^y awarenessof the world around me/L retained a sense 
Of p±^K^^i.cantici pation.-W connected;^sf ^^Ä^?^ ?oi^n^?c writers| 
had^iled the "sublij.ö'^ for many W^ of travei Km^^t^iKKXxx 
t/and through the country that ^ved my life th^t June night. 
"From slavery to freedom", the Hebrew mantra f or the exodus 

from Egypt,! was free like^in Berlin seven months earlier 

when we had avoided falling into their clutches by xäääx luck 

and thge help of my janitor who had delayed opening the 

front door to them. when they had come to arrest Lotte and me. 

Highs like these don't stay f orever ,xfeMixJ€JliMx$^llf^xXÄÄxi^MXillSx^xlc$^j 


From slavery to freedom - me 'avdut le'cherut 

the formula used in Exodus for the flight from Egypt, 

rose up in me like a mantra, a melody,below my thought and 

feelings, just like"golden freedom"had welled up when 

we walked away from the Gest apo that night, unscathed ^.^ 

ax\(^ triumphant^ÜJikL lUgh; /f ro m the unconscious below/aNr 

. We^^won. We^^bested their machine .We,^ outwitted 

them.Forget that we had to flee and hide . We^idared them even in 

flight. I had walked into their claws that evening in Berlin 

and had sprinted away, free. I broke their rules and I disregarded 

th eir laws .Morejthan once,I challenged themknt j^roirr to 

assert my illusory independence, my fragile adolescent 

spite. I had travelled around Berlin for months without that 

identity paper,I had broken l their curfews,gone to their con- 

certs,ate in their restaurants. And I had associated with my 

friends, with Jews and Gentiles, our feoge Lhei ' ucüL celebrat ing 

ivility and f riendshippThey had the power to itaaSi-t 

destroy with tira force ^hfir Titfi Q^ynirri i-mi would n 

Dur ^ ( 

ÖS» humanity.Being the lowest outcast, a fugitive from a sentence 

th^t could onlyit^ mian death^^I lived the supreme freedom of the 

ever penetrate to 

M A prey unbound, total anarchy »aJr aTpem^^ ^by visions of what that 
fexxHk might containjbeyond the brink one could see. 

Now with one step across an immaginary line, the Gr^^ ^>)^ 

boundary, I had entered freedom» fflea vdut le' cheru t it sang in me 

as if I had ever thought mTjiyself a slave even in Nazi Germany. 

as if I had ^ow e^c^rh-a^^^^ /the and very real freedoms 






tiC. \\<l 

tier or any other person »■ ii njj> hdiiy RTi'öirrr-Tr-Trre---bkne as 

helping prepare our f light toSwitzerland . ^ transcript of this 
lengthy interview would feg useful^ I thought/as a record of 
what I knew and hoWBruetsch-Maeder, Pol." took ^own what I had 
said. it was not in my "dossier" in the Swiss Federal Archives 
in Bern-Kirchenfeld when I visited there in they4arly 1990s. All 
they had stored was thej&csfctiPi "intake" protocol of Mr.Moesle. 

the frontier police post , , ^ir^rTe^ Warrant (" Report Arrestation 
>fliun ^ Yv».' itiflAV^^ y 

^,WP to ^Äx-thTrrnTilliiirce file was turned down since 

/ / 

these files were " being reorganized" .. 

The interrogation conducted by Herr Buetsch-Maeder , 
like all other contacts with the police and the military during 
these firstjweeks, had been most civilized, respectful, sympathetic, 
the Alemannic infle ction of the German they spoke with me wao 
music to my earx. I soon learned after my release from military 
control that Officer Bruetsch-Maeder • s interrogation had been 
a farce of operatic propor*tions: he had been assigned to '^^ass^' 1 
Lotte^when she was transferred from prison to a quarantine camp 





:*Hä^o t t^p^l t ji a gift only he couldl^rof f er : \ 




i ^^ 

out landmarks and orientation points ^^^™S=^C*t^^^ii^S^J^ 
DID Bruetsch-Maeder believe tha^l\ad fäll^d his instructio 
and that I lied with consummate obf uyscation about tjie circumstance, 
Of my Crossing ?' j ^„^ ,^ ^^,^ .^^^^ ^ ^^^^ '^^^._iL^^^ C^cl 

^^caM^'I'^^^ Ilse Schj|(oeneberg turned L/udwig • s papers 

' 1 

over to me' L 


he worked out plans forislippisbg through the German frontler- 

working for 
System, disguised as an agricultiral laborer with a Swiss farmer 

V\a VH 


am Rhein 


he ]^Äs::57,and then either swim the R hine a^&±:siixaM l?K?K$^ 

orfeain the f rontieröKSSx^8y£ifitt^w8äi8^avoid the customs-and poli 
licemen<whose disposition he was thoroughly familiär .a^Cö. 

It wou ^d ha VC boon the most professional insider help W^X 


could p c> Ge 4±F^ - receive- Before he left the Scoenebergs, he 
ted this plan to Ilse who typed it on her German typewriter^ 

i'iol- tt 


to Jean Friedrich/ On my first visit to Lau wsanne 

3 ,^ 

and thei Schoenebergs, L.-fe^i±~-tiTe--inje3Tl7^ f J- 



^O^d iklt^r^ 

the details of this 


a /$olidly respectable Swis 

Swiss police off icer probabl"^ in his f ifti 

es at 

ked his 


-0 A H/vC * »^ 


worthy of,^ 

plan fig^x^ military reconnaxss- 



ny 4years later 



sent me 

in Berlin' s Technical 

University in the 1980s. I had been helped by many resistance 
men and women in Germany, and presrve the memory of our sso- 
ciation d^M mtj - m jcxgx^xRMgx as a mcot S)recious gift. Here was the 
first. SWiss official who had s^i^cs^'^the conflict between law-»^ 
and^order and humanity in a sober and matter-of =^f act fashion, 


a conflict that had tortured many of the best Germans I had 


known and appreciated. In Germany, every man in uniform had 

raised an alert in me. My mother had suffered from an acute 

authorities cpnfronting, .^. , . . 
fear of law-and-order »ggsitJiSx tne defencele ss citizen-subj ect . 

as if I was ^o 

I had conditioned myself iCH moving in enemy territory . You had avoid^j 

XÄidÄd them, you hid behind your mask, you played "normaicy" 

with them, you rebelled if you daredor threw caution o the wind 

when your anger and contempt would not stay put baiösJK^^^Xx 

lOBiOJKiiixjQlXÄggxÄSsiBKxijaxHixiKgxiatKifistxdÄHSS^y Meet ing BRuet sch-Maed 

der began my "Westernization" . The trust we had in the small 

circle of our Jewish Community in Berlin was becoming the norm in 

1 7^ y ci f^ y 

the Society that took me in. Our supreme enemy had been the 
policemen in and out of uniform, they"''fcHfiSiS^jlj[^§^§sxf»xxxSHfifiÄxfÄXx: 
our survival in the police-state,HKaxkaäxMjH]i±RÄJ&RHx _Lc 
physical force and coercion - men with guns k ident/ityy G3!B5S«P->^they 
ar lifeijiin theiu: hands. Üre^ syirv5olic^ signif icance -"^ " 

had y 

0<^ human concern 

Y) OiJü 

tA had remained 

on paper 

into an augiry ^ 
as^enhanced beyond all proportions ,xÄJ$xlixS(i5Ääx ^ 

i?i?^iJx^ feit confirmed in the Image of Switzerland that I 

was constructing for myself Aas "Ä^ less blue-eyed j rcra 1 1 tqf » of 

the System that controlled my life for the next three years 

14/ Äo /UL.[; f ^ u%^ Ar 





/ U J u/^"5jf jM,"! ij/wvv J^ /kT^^H TIü^— System had been -p8Pt ^n place since 1940/c btrt it 
^vJMLv^rp^ had been used 

woujd take refuge in neutral SWitzerland. $^$3^3^^|^M3^ ^^ -^^^^ 

across the frontier or 
when military unit?s would be pushedyA««: 

a spy scare had been unleashed by English or American diplomats 

fleeing Holland after the unexpectedly sudden victoryx:i^xE±±jfcxkx±j 

(Blitzkrieg) of the Nazi armies in the West. Allied apologists 

blamed "fifth columns", Nazi agents infiltrated among the 

refugees Holland, Belgium, . France, Great Britain had allowed 

in as an act of mercy. The SWiss war time command led by 

General Henri Guisan, announced that it was planning to 

withdraw its (conscript) army toa mountain retreat (reduit) 

in case of a Nazi Invasion , and demanded the removal of 

refugees from the frontier and potential Invasion routes. 

(such security concerns aligned the General andthe high command 

of the SWiss army for the rest p® the war period on the side 

of restrictionism in refugeee policies). Army reserve units 


ere assigned to police duties in frontier cantons when 

the (small) cantonal police contingents proved unable to 
deal with sudden bulges in the number of refugees seeking 
safety from Nazi mass dep ortations in MssJfcKx occupoied Western 
Europa and in fascist Italy. Internment camps appeared as the 
best way to control potential fifth columnists , to avoid clashes 
between refugees and th e local population, to put refugees to 


werk on civil engineering prcj)^cts like road building or repair, 

8x or 
soll reclamamtion projects, forestry. Women and children would 

be housed in hoteis not used while tourism was minimal during war t 

time. Persons who had run afoult of Swiss law or whom the 


government considered liabi lities for Swiss peace and quiet (po- 
litcl radicals) xhüexecI were concentrayed under prison discipline 
in penal instit utions like Witzwil (Canton Bern). 

six weeks earlier^ gince we both were eager to teil them all 
that would not compromise friends and helpers^ Wy deposition 
confirmed what t hey had learned from Lotte. I spent several 
days answering their questions about conditions in Berlin. 

Sin^e [they grouped their questions i.Ä%^r-st*fe-j 

from external conditions, the effect of the bombardments , 
the "total mobilization" of manpower for war productcion, ö nj 
the food si^jtuation^ reactions of the population to 
the course of the war , ie .morale , resistance to Nazism a ff^'^ClLT ^^ 
iii ,p^piTatTon^ groups.i also told them ab outyheportations 
and the Jewish Community, in no uncertain terms. 

The one area 


^Atiharififc« I feit 

reluctant about were the circumstances of our |crossing the froät 

ticr from Germany to SWitzerland. Since we had moved from the 

) . . i 

rai Iroad Station 

^directly to a hill overlooking 

the road that marked the frontier, I had had no occasion to 

, , . ^ , that had become secondA;iature , 

acquire that sense of place. ixliSSxÄSJSltitJcSft on omr youthful 

hikes in the f orestaa^^ und Wucrabur g — hny^ hnmpf m-rn ) Police r, 
Office Bruetsch -Maeder - I learned his name when he made me sign 

the protocol of theirinterrogation - suggested details of 

the path 


may have taken to reach the frontier 


landmarks I may have priented myself by , etc. He was pressing for 
Information I honestly could not supply.And of course, I did not 
mention Josef Hoef 1er and luise Meier, the two German helpers« 
tHK^ had been all the topography I had needed^iM-r^ theSchoenebergs , 

otte's uncle and aunt in Lausanne , Jean Friedrich, 

the Red Gross 


in Berlin, \Dr . 

Nathan Wolff, thephysician at t he fronti 


of the democratic society I had entered ^ o - auiTuu i- jMu -i ^^ y.. 

The paradox of anomie that had protected me from falling 

under trkeir control - as long as they failed to ca^ch me - 

the freedom of the outlaw in a society under oppressive 

control, now repeated itself in the then freest of European 

societies , roles reversed.I was ad^^mitted to he country 

^\ V*.\ Vc4f I (^o^^ CW^ Y ^r ^b 

and not sent back to Nazi Germany^ our greatest fesöwr. Already on 
second or third day I wa-s asTced to fill out an application for 
a Swiss identificaion paper for refugees. Thf-^nyntrm nvolvrd 

tnr dea l inf — ^nrt:iT- -a ifil y1 ii j ii , ,( üM rt i %ree4t>--»e,.J,^. The Cantonal policeman 

(Mr.Moesle) d eliv e red me to the cantonai prisoi}/!/ — ^-^— — ^. 



routine not only as a police measure but aLSO, I thought. 

as ^easure of protection: the train crossed in and out of 

Ncourse of the 
Strips of German territory as it f ollöwe^^th^ Rhine river 

along the irregulär f rentier line.Each canton - State - of the 
Confederacy exercised police authority in its territory, but 
shared it with federal police authorities in Bern. Historically , 
central power had increased since World War One as war emergencies 
dictated ems^^gEaa^j^ Cm e a s u r g s never quite revoked after the emergency 
had ended.Thus, I was exhaustively interrogated for two weeks 
in the Cantonal Prison of Schaffhausen and the reports sent on to 
the Federal Police iepartment^ whose "Alien Police Section" 

(Eidgenoessische FRemd enpolizei) identified me as " refugee witho 
Identification papers" and interned me until further notice. 
Prison lasted about two weeks for me and my companion in flight, 
Lutz Ehrlich. The prison police had not let on that LOtte had 
been passing t hrough the women ' s division of the same prison 




opportunities for my fellow Bern refugees and to wribe ^^ leu,.ures 
papers.and my disserta^on. From tlie very beginning, tlie Federal 
Police Department liad imposed strict ban 6\\ gainful employment 
or free-lance work $:äX refugees. Like in most cg^^^AJ-uJ MXtixJL coun- 
tries/ including <^g^awfta afi^/France, migrants oif wliatever category 
had been encode d ^*3feda^Äa€i^b?:ÄiiU-JtÄ-4=ß poli^e grrtif^a to be 

watclied and controlled, for wlijatever motivBsxaJk±HH±x±XKiä$^^^? 
3ea ^«M)nt at whatever stage of fnationali«» or economic seif -interest . 
Since I liad been frugal by necessity, liabit/ and conviction 
for most of my post-W uerzburg life, I feit quite comf ortable .^ 

my wislies were in line witli my financial State - except, 

maybe, tlie petty bourgeois xiaHKXxI---couJüi-_ax-f-ard to rent/'^BRn 

tlieix^ ( (X\^- ^v)^ . o^cb^ 

who cramped my personal life witlir^most comical |nrx3rtri-4;y . . ,., /^ i '^hS 

Restrictions on gainful employmVent reflected a long-standing 
policy|among Swiss käÜää bureaucracies on all leATels of tlie politi 


ucture/T) aiMKä:jdt:kxp 


Jc^icMx to Protect SWiss economic and cultural /mterestsSagainst 

\ ^ ' ^ s ^^ 

I P]m ! i ft ^^ J^y^being diluted by excess foreign immigratiori. Tlie^ trend i-e-aagrihwrafrJLy 

^ref lected in administrat ive and legislative documents since 

tlie e arly 1920s. 

Already in early November, wlien tlie term at Bern 
Un iversity had begunn, I liad formal}.y enrolled ("immatrikuliert', 


i.e entered qW tlie list5- matricul^ )^ tlie Dean liad recommended to 
the faculty tliat my liigliscliool gradäation certificate from 
Berlin be recognized - it was from the lastn Jewisli scliool 
of thißkind left in Nazi Germany in 1942, his hesitation had been 

understandable . Once the federal Polzei department had agreed 

to my enrolment "for tlie 1943/44 Fall term" and to my renting 

"a furnislied room ,not an apartment" (scarce space in war-time 

SJßö^i^aÄ bureaucra^yic Bern!), I a'sse rbed tlie small ^k&jsj^ turf 

liad occupied '' by ing 

I ÄÄRkXÄÜÄSt in tlie camp bureau sjgjix^f f ixÄÖ tlie camp stamp in 

the dismssal column of mj; internal passport witli my own axi8fe8iitJ?x 

hand . srailing about my 

all the way to the barrack/*« 

I left the camp witli a good feeling and great expectatiot 
tions.It had been just over six months since I had come as 
an unnvited/guest/ by night, in as great a distress as I would 
ever be in my life, and met with nothing but decency , sobriety, 


•^ \ fJV^X 


fiFl5=e:5i3±i*y among the SWiss police, military,and civilian officials 
I had had contact with until then. Tliis break, from beinq hunted 


to being shel.tered albeit rHx:kxH±HHMxx within prison and camp 

walls and fences, had so dominated my feelings tliat tliey hafd 

pushed aside the normal resentment or shock I would have feit 

VV00I4 V\ 


once normal personal and civic freedom liÄd-^eön restored 

1 wV a/ü/1 

I had liked the labor camp, ^^nce — i^-^w^a-s— -t-ru^s-t^d IfnjK 



to move and exp-lore tlie surrou ndings#or hike up the hill to 



See Lo tte in Crans. I believe the Berlin experience had gjuafcn 
me tlie liabit of living from within I had had since adolescence. 
I had found good friends in the camp, had been active in t he 
Community atM^±:wg^*^.t-*r - •m=^T1^^^ , almost as if it had been a 
youtli-movement en_ campment with its ylarrrng y fr physical challenges uij 
and.romantic re lati ons to id -yum ami x i ijtu I-l Hiig es .CTliat 
at one time durinitig tlieiT Fallythree friends and I entered a v±fi'&ey| 
vineyard and tested the ripening grapes - in recompense for 

ff " 


all the firewood we brought down w ithQu 4s 

* ^Q<3)tO S 




ü-irr:^'^ bir 



^^M-i-ecHt /^- was of course more youfcliful prank 

and exuberance t: lian misdemeanor, 

amp pairi snmp 


liQ Cao tiwi rl: — f f^iiinry 

^ llG QUl»L i 






(^ ioGO ¥orGd i Notliing bo be proud of for an exz-preaclier 

\<:epf my story to myself 
pf the liigli road, but tlien, I liad x:xli«3dbg<Sö^3cSckl(§:!lcxWk^^^ 

^ of tlie __ 

^tliexv<ö5cxtceciö(jaxacl dignityAremained untouclied 

Tlius once agaln my world was in order and blie 

liorizon filled with expecbafcionsx, 



r liarrowing pa 

asT| b 



oppresive as yeb bo ftfe admibbed bo ötÄRStSLicÄx^SSSSSixiü^ emobions 

txi^ri^^c^/ 3CketÄfex f »VI p * > ' ^<^ J ^ \y^ 


N o b ba-3icirR|=| äRxäxXäXX jriCÄS ^Mialjun i nappanc 



and worrying 

would counberacb 

bhe pasb inbo obsessions and seif -piby ,^|^^blie niliilism lurking 

ab blie core of 

god • s Ir.oaiil ^g .ilLJ:^ -'^ li i s peoplej^nd all^w b Im e for 

liealing. Tlie friends l liad made liad learned bojkndure separabi 




o lAt^ 

S h i 

ecome our^vacabion 
X:84:?r;blie middle 

Tliab I cliose blie Universiby 
wiblioub invesbigabing ibs f - aoul L ijf or ascerbaining 

of Bern 

had escaped, %vm^ 

, bhe 

|iii ii^^(/ w 


survivor's trusb in liis |M^kx:?iaÄJtÄÄJsxJ5kÄxÄMÄ • Tlie universities 
Basel or Zuericli miglit well liave bveen closer to tlie raainstream 

liv ) V-'^'l 

of contemporary^-^European di evolopmontG /C Basel miglit: li 

ave offered 

/ superior ancient liistory and pliilosopliy departmentX Zuericli 
more varied and more sophist icated nuiupLdi l liistory courses. 

I liad gained impressions of all fcliree university tovif by i a lliMj 

. ; U -/ ö 

quick walks tra*«! from fcherraiTroad stat ionsfeKifcMfiHMx^AfWitr^^^^^ 

trainr^ Önly jflp Bern 

trir«g ts^x 



II for :trHai±ityXx tlie concrete 



political and cultural 

KKx^ j«^ v^avTo 

\f^V^ \\A a\ 


e ^Qn .fa ra . i lioped for, a Grumacli 


an Elbogen in modern liistory 


a Taeubler 

ox < o (^r5'c/^ 

like max Weber 's 


"Protestant Etliics " and Jaccbb Burckliardt ' s gel tqescliiclitl iclie 
Betraclitunqen ",,.'^0 rce and FReedom)# 

I would enroll in wliatever Judaistics courses the university 

major in 
offered, but siXÄxlöXxieÄiKxÄMÄMiÄKxiiÄx modern European 


\in \\\V^ liistory ,/my 

liistory ,/my most glaring defi^ciency, and in German liistory, 

fJJö ij li'jjii^PULl " Llxo most pressing questions. 

Bern is of course an arc liitectural jewel in it 
4rban core and the sub-urbs and parks dotting tlie 

rrg+^tr bank of tlie Aar^river upstream,Ättd blending 



directly into working farms aiyi small villages slowly 
gentifymg mto suburbs. i:fes ÄXiskxkBiskMrHXÄKiäxikHXHxx -esses 

Kit i^...iv>^ol 


5Söbba±rry 16-18tli cent ury townliouses^f il 

liad beeil/ 4^Hg.r< ]e>>-^^a8!g^i^Jt.^ ?:Si¥i5 ^ "'J^rv o yiMJTi^MlJ t 


w allg 

^suggested burglier wealtli, indepen- 

/jj-i^cl^ .dence, tlie urbanifoy of a comraercial nivi i jzation /-free 

mH C\/ ? . ,^ of ÄxkiskHjaAsxMxgHxica ajssolutisb 

3-|y(/?lC> a»^ -^^ ( 


oTiTrTGo~tTro]T 3 

~l4^-tlTig~^rf2TrurTTTSSlden^ expected HHxxsiy tliat 
tlie capital of "free Switzerland", would be elegant and 
cosmopolitan »i xkx 

• t 






, , - . *- Flie/\government cenfcer, Bundesliaus, 

^ ^^e^bluf fT^CTie fast-flowing river liad cut into 

living Wl»-iX ' ^H^oty^x^ 

tlie landscape, a laaiäÄKH p ali LlLu ^- 'n i inl i iiiinj monument only a few 

Imndred ^«uaua away froiti tlie 13tli Century cathe dral ^«T ^^ 
it ÄäJiÄiiy over tliey^ landscapg, L plaque (|n itSAterrace ^.ail 

commemorat:4ö*g the rairacuouls survi val of # t h eology Student 

^^^li ^ had fallen f-*«»--WTr-tTm«»«» -/^c :^ii^ l\f^ .t 

wlio(^?«¥¥ down the steep wall , inebriated J Hfglg^Ti ,i \ ^^f.i... 

undeserved »^.^ -»,-».. .-a^, 

«$«|$?S?S«§ god's/^grace and man 's dissolution in Protestant »{(th 

7 ' ■■ U. - '[ 

sobriety/.On clear days, a cliain of snow-capped Alpine peaks 
would be visible on the sOutliern horizon, oppressively clear in 
Foehn weatlier, roraantically picture-postcard when f.resli 
snow had f allen. Xt^-ft^^^ ip^red as i* - ^i*ef^ swiss min "57~w omtflM 
' went on ^Ö6 rnrrMtir walks, hikes, or clirabs, weather permittin^ 

\ \ : ! Ij 

<' ' I 

^lie platforms of t lie rail road Station ,f i lled 
witli pleasantly earnesb crowd^ carryin^ backjD acks and, 
at times, climbing gear of some weiglit . JIlpuL Swiss c>#=«««Ä^^:i^ 

seemed to like tlieir leisure strenuous/r 





I cliose Bern because I sensed t Hat it would take me 

into tlie civiiized soirih ;,nri VI,-. „.a^Llii t^tg/H ^j> //^^ 

iiizea spirit and rf lustoric t r a d ifionjftTT^lJ^^ 

had exxluded me from a^//i ^J/j 

to recover from all tlm tensii^t^^Ä^f'?^'^; +*'**-" 

^ l^f.^.^/Cv.cuKiw,;,äi'ir/ ^»^'Vst^^a "Creative pause 


»^-^üa P PllrRc^^nj „f j j^^i ^ u ^ gJlLlf to think an 


d feel witliout: the 


intrusive attacks on our Community .fei^^^'JJf^, h«^t^ our 
reac tions into the frame of reference of t he%Temy ."^ *'*^^**^' 

Wlien I made tlie entirely unpremitated decision t o - tjry to -o nfol 
_>n Bern uiiivei'b'-Tit?, m^^memories, < |i3XaHT t-w yi?tijiaitii art iaul j I: cjV 
l#i»^,were no doupt liarking back to t lie 

days of pre-Nazi 


o—I ilQd 

t}iat by its very sma 


,/ a refcurn to a social environmenfc 
I fiud l'U'üi IIIJ4J1- tö See as a coiiesive 
Order, a sane worid.^j^On my first fleetirig walk fciireuggh pa-g^4;-^f„ iirtr^ 

, I liad glimpsedxa 

h Y<^ :^ (? Vif \> a *^ ty ^ \^ jj^Ji 

n 18t:ji Century arclii tecture ^^evea^^^ the 

older lines of wallvS and tocwers^ KXx^iÄÄiM^xÄKJt clOwSingjy^K ^ gap /// 
xHäxä tue r ^ ^ .f^ l /.L:.iaj:urral defences - ^ 


I glimpwsed the 13tii 

Century catliedral a 

n/ tli 

jß 19tli Century BUiidesliaus , later on tlie 

^ flow of tlie 
med;.eval sjars: 


City hall - Rathaus - all following the 

maggau: a^ b li ! ■ i aw wi üii n and hioyiWic- fa ko ^r^ 

CW^ea,^ly moqttern^design . Later on, when I saw the univers(^ity buil 

ding /the first time, its late 19th Century origin in Renaissance 

At tlie time- 


^l^i^es between t]^^ 




design and detail Struck me as almost parallel to tlie Wuerzourg 

Neue üniver sitaet wliich, of course, -^ ha<i never set foot in. 

I exrected Bern as tlie seat of government and t le diplomatic 

Corps tcjhe an elegant town, concentrated and more visible tlian 
tke v^^r-iA.Jrj ^-fp^^. |,r^,-:j ,-^,-^ |^^^^^^ Laber on^T r^nnrfm' >7^^ 

iÄkÄXxÄRx «1 1 a t tlie Shops tiiat lin 

uniquey^covereci sidewalks bu ilt inbo tlie liousin^ 
streets waxisx 
na tional 

i^pj. uii^± recogn 1 zea 


€d blie streets under tliose 

tlu^rouglily democratic jiix of 

xtlK? st 


uyjiiy ueinucraccDC Jiix ot mte: 

teil -«Jimtf-aRSturar- 

ar witli taakers 


butcliers,clieese and milk sellers, small e^f-e^e^ , low-budcfet 
"Woolwortlis" and little b*süw& b 

esides tlie 



Store b^^i^jrftg-H J 1 u i 
tliat liad built 

large idepartment 


e*^^ The town elite tl 

i5H±ii^ those 

patrician urban residences 


appeared to liave bee 


bi^assed by ^HsixKinAx^^ middle-class prosperity and comfort 
tJ^ had carried tlie day over tlie secular or clericalxiaK^Ä 

^*t***'' »« ggested ope^rlngs to 'eTie~- •'•wii>r""Tna tlie sei>^ tliat-? 

it. could liave been t>^t way u p north, a Söhse of" bfeing out of far 
/dahger now^ curio^ty fresli as a cliild's vacatipiUng away f rom lioi 
hi^ome for the first time. I did not doubt tha/^i would find Jews 

. 1 

ina town th^t had a department störe named Loeb • s on aproitiinent 
spotnear/the Station. 




Tlie Rundest er ass ewould become part of my daily walks from 

tlie "refuaee mensa" wlre're I abe luncli, xmä my furni©li€4« room 



later o 



would \öHrte 

fji A ^.!^ <k 

n,Athe Sfcadtbibliothe^wliere lAKraXariny ^octoral 

of tlie y'ear 




dissertaion. For many mon 

tlisABern weatlier could be ^patari^ wet 

and cold, blie sky overcast, Iriie view liidden. Tlie first 


Äio«ot ^yo'r P[r ^^<^t^ ^ betwee 


xcit:ement*^XkKxsHKxxsxof iielng~'"'^on vacationsl x^l^^M^Sxg^t 

<<x^t c^^ 


land scape and history gave way to tliefguiet 


would render 

a most liappy interlude 

^xxa tliese Zt^^^ ^lears ^?x?:ic^$8öM^ of l$«iltgx&)$sgx^$XÄMHsxKxxxx 




JciHXxmjcxiH^KXfisiLSx discoveruig 

new dimensionS of liistory 







future KXkkHii:fcxKHaxKiHMx in ^xssdHiQx complete 


WL W(-^<^ ^^fciiUC^ 

freedom ^ 

<7U ^ 


I S^Sfe neitli er 

an exi le nor as an emigre^^ wliile I 
1 ivö Ä' '* 


lived in Bern. I did not'^livö in fufcure -jÄdit« for tlie 
Community I liad le ffc beliind, 4- l '^Nu w i L /li u j/ b u u ir-gesT^Töy-g^ Jfor a least 
two years, I would liave been wil ling to ret uVn to Berlin 

1 *- 

Jewisli Community 

iy^-^xpecfced tpo reestabiisli 

itself after tlie war as 

German- Jewisli congregation^aKd rsligxxpHXXX 


.1 1 c 

'} ; h 

educational syst 



rivi t r-i 




'A since tlie 


liad been desiqned to exclude tlie settlement of 


'• ^ 

äiMxHHJfcx saw as "unwilli 

to assialmlate to Swiss ways 





^o HiW\0i^ C>f 


Oi, /' ti 55. i ' /? / .m <p -f 1^«. /< 


/-f y>A 



A 'f/l iS'" c t\ 

perceiifive Switzerland as an immig 


i/cn { 

Idid not 

ad been 

Ena 1 and , Pa 1 es t i ne 

tlie USA^ feile SWiss concept of its role in 



l\ \ 


tlie /migration emergency 




'KhaKxKsiKKiäKä witli my seif -underst and ing as a 




i n t 

t / 

la ' /) 

U C\U 


^f vv^^y ^<f^'il>: p^'^ 



/ n 


music , museums , newspapers , u« 

s far as 


l\<i^ yvi a c\^i j 


A 1 






\j c c C/>>1 u 


i -^ 




1 ^1 A^i 

7>^o* *^n ^•»P'^ 


ends. to. yerif 

It feSÄKÄÄi^Ä tli05 recollction 


eitlier Litte nor I made 

flV i^ 

effort//to a^e^i»=*ie tlie Swiss*Ge|:ma 

anguage \\\ any form including tlie Bernese dialect 'i^'i^mmm^mmmmmm 

• I did not See Swiss German as a language of itl 
[wn^in palt be^zause newspapers and educated speecli in tlie media ^^id 
[t- tlje unlversity used liigli German ^^'aTfted^'by ^ differently 





.^l/^f ^d 

^' !■ C> 1^ 



was tlieVcondi tion of studjents I 

{yhr - '•■■■'" — 

wold become so familiär witli in my ■ oiffei -^ ro ^ professional lifei 
even Uf ^4*95' took feAi=e4-r study, researcliy writing, .1 iiii»ni iHjau. 
as seriously as I did at tlie time. I i di34vfe-4 ^4^d^ myself as 

a F 1 u e c h b 1 i n g g - St u d g n tj^ a Student refugee or ref ug^student , 

^ /^ ^ i^y on emigration/ 

not 9m an exile for an emigre. In/)later work:/\ I would insist 

on keepinii^g tlie two 

■ • < i 

apart. Tlie Cemiqr ^came to settle 

r^ " 

und in time would combine liis own cultural -j 

wi th 

tlie cult ure of tlie country lie 1 



nent^^^Cquire its cit izensliip, partici 

\ to a et fc^b^ iii per- 

Ipate in tlie 

füll ränge of axKiJcHxsM:^xx±±iHxx private and public activities 

\ I c^. 

accessible to liim, His mentality was f uture-directed^ 

^if^i^&:::. \\^:J:^^^ lc - ovoroamo his emotions about h r eilng drivon from wlmb - 
loy J-hCi 0^(^\\-'"^(^M^\ \A'^ »>c^w i^^g^ ^H^^ ia^^^ c-uit^^^' wsasfocussed 

/wa^J4s l 4 o m<^4-ai»d^ Tlie< ^exTle ' W menta lity k^ickÄiixif^ÄgM i® 


past and future of tlie g^a^^Hirp^' 371(3" gocte-ti^ /lie had lef t beliind, 

not on land and people, culture and politics of tlie country 

lie had fled to. 


Liuiiai Jiiu. luguiuyi ' 

\K) \\v^ ^<^vv^ >^ jj?!^^ S<^ir) t h e i r 

olitical exiles carry ^^ the/conf fcts of öix lio ^el an ^ 



iff tliey wrangle about the homeland's future 


mß^ammJmd»mämmm*ßmm . Forced to become p national isf^abroadJ 


U o ff^ ^ 'Ci/x H^'*^ 

even^in the^'^ost radical pfefeoBiti onal Lrad - ition of ^lie p u lm., 

i td:GarX:^pec4t^'4*fiH tliey would e-gpcipt rä @ ^ irfe e J lcgBife 

fytng^TTTlrh j*i*ep|? Surround^ .^tUe«. Accul turaüxin, the iajöJSKKHsxxx 

om 1 

will4d or involuntary 

of customs and minds, they 

would try to avoid or deny, even if tlieir wives and children 
were growing into tlieir new environmentr«3zrf^ ul timately determin 
Mi-ir ]i.ninlii.ii«g'-iir future,v <x1 l^ciifa^ ^H «a/v ^^ ^^^' ^^//tU - It^^f 

/ 'J 













\ \ 

V VfO 

«f i 









Andof course I liad no uu'Uauiuu to feel sorry ,for myself 

because of my / inbernmenb_ J It restricted ray residence bo Bern - in 


pra ctice, I spent two almost carefree sommers witli two Professors 
and a crew of stud^ents and Italig|n military internees di^ng up a 
neolitliic lalce-dwelling at a TTrtcai,alJp neaj'r SolotJmrn, in füll vi 

'View of t)ie Jura chain across lusli meadows . (Tlie second s 

ummer was 

• made anxious by an Operation Lotte liad to undergo in tlie Univer- 

sity Clinic's gynokological ward/undfflr t]ie best of care/ by xh 

— WL 
tlie top specialist of the liospital«i<^ refused to accept a fee after- 

wards.) i was expected to sign "present" eacli Wednesday at tlie 

Canto nal POlice stat ion in Aarberggasse (?),with wliose desk officer 

one_Qf 1 1 1 ejB-—^ 
I became routinely friendly. At one poi nt>s^'^t tried to persuade me t 


XKJCXB as a - model for a Bern sculptor wliose fee.however sraall/would 

yi^hicd Police ^ 

have lielped but -w^s=3 gyT i nnl; tlie strict ' rule;/ögainst any and all econon 

w P ß / r^ / "^ ^ * 

mic activity. Nobody would l ia've aab ujHu* on grounds of morality or 

teaching , 

law to reemburse me for the tutoring, lectu ring, or writing I did 

on occasion 

/ '^•^ sometimes for a terra or two, aatd A law graduate saw n 

i 4 ( 

no Problem in liaving me-i '-fc i »i jL the j'language of his d issertation when 

• ^ 3 i rr UM n l ua* 'ü, 9 -^ ^eisp ä n impecunious Student. Obtaining 

Police permission to l^eave town for a day or a weekend was ap routine 

-J^^ K<\^L /fix' K -t *f 

tat I stopped bothering Aarberggasse .Al also did a feu woGliia/t^x- 

^^ hon *-\ ^1, C ma 

-\ f 'fi\'j^ a gricultural Kgricx wprk o n a farm,in tlie Mittel land/ j----! 
^'' f^Ilow :rttiüenfs~, "^ : tTie3;mucliimore onerous and time-consumin 


Q^/f^(> W**'^ unconscionablj 


i military Service. For some oA 

■f 11/1 

■• .A"-' 



neol i tliic 

military Service would 
if completißji? 'tlie dissertation^. 

dof #0 ' 

Zl^fll^"'^ ^"^ '''° ^'^^""^ ' ''"'"''^^ witlTthe^dig at^Burgaeschi_seeJ^laSSSxKäl«Ix^,t 

^. LOMMlMll 



bj^egun to/.work inbensively on my disser täion, ?,.^. 

ad ju 

teile known vagaries involved i n obtaining an immigrat ioii visa 




//| oW']/^ ^ 

from tlie US Consulafce in Zuericli wibli tlie somewliat risky 

expectation tliat I would be able to complete my doctoral dissertai 

fö{\^ ' ' ^ 

in 14 montlis. Tliafc we knew from April 1946 on tliat we would 

liave a cliild_in December added another time table to my iigaiiil - 
l^fci* T^fetÄS^jYi My case worker, a temporary adjunct) residing in tlie 
temporaray Office barracks i~^\ tili^ MFirri 1 i > i^T/n tlie liillfrom tlie 
Bundeshau s > kept liis doubts about tlie optimism of my planning 
almost compl etely to liimself. It was policy to encourage 
refugees to plan for tlieir 

I u </)i -l V\ 

-v-^ I u \fn 


abroad, or baek to tlieir liome 



studies. Iliad made my contrib ution.(Tlie Bundesarchi v 
has preserved tlie correspondence f^r posterity and social 

^ome to 

in Switz 

Switzerljand,f rom the front ier guards wlio received me in 1943 
to the j/bfficials in Bern I dsaid good-bye to at tlie end. 

Migrants need tlie encouragement that comes from tliese contact 

^w3 / 

it warmed my heart wlien I feit it in the prof assiuonal ism of 
tiie English custo ms Services at Dover and in the warm informal it 
of the^teet Ame rican customs official g-a?eeirrtrg:^me in that 
unromantic slied at a Hoboken pierA Only Frencli police and 
custo^*m^liad manageä" axKHMxixJiHHJkxKHiixx tolkeep reminding you of 
tlieir grigi« jf io a nqü ^allthrough my travelling 1 if e ,beginning 
with the first transit visa I needed to attend a Conference 
in London in 1946. 


'2y\ W^^^^\K ^^ 

lios"e~sTiglitly more tlian tliree years in Bern ^Delonged t:o tlie 


most fruitful an d fulfilled y ears of my. life even if I liad not 
^'\^v/vv ^Jlvi>'^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ Lotte barely four montlis into my stay in Bern, probably 

tlie pauper-marriage ot^^e year. I came to love town and lanfecape, 
and liked my liosts, as far ^as I un derstood tliem, even if I 

feit grated by sorngf^^kS^ixiS^^libäBf^^igrlerent in 

peti ts 

bourgeois tlie world over, and at times exasperated by the 

^ . _ ted by tl 


J'lowbulse of 4ggf town tliat preserved «ta^y eenttee-t^i^Ä^ witli ih 

löte countryside. i understood tlie inh e^rent dignity of tlie S'ii^s 

AV gently 

self-image, tlie/ polite_sse in deal ing/\wi tli people in anonymous 

relations ratlier tlian in gruff command language, tlie ssKxaxiagx 

s^ sel^-reliant democratic personality brouglit up in a national 

resistance to overbearing officialdom or gentry^tefee-ici^ 

i^ '^tf ^>^^ ^J^^e-KÄ^ constitutional order and civil rights, hacked up by univer 

0[ ^C^^X^ii'^V^l I saljmilitary Service, uniform; aun/^and ammunition at tlie ready 

ß ^ n ^^;^Kr/9l/(^rii ^li^recurrenjt^ 

JfiC(^-^^f^ d^^l^^ liome for/^resirve duty. I saw tl^^^^i^^ pec uliar add iction to 

^ ' "'' ^lAn\/\ folklore andif estival s as reaf f iration/ of tlieif i^se^Bcfe.^ cul t ure, 


\^(h ^ \/y 



$ civic religion celebralTlngri ts roots7 


Neitlier Lobte no^ I liad made a systematic effort to 

learn the Swiss-German language spoen in Bern 

I miglit 

never liave learned it completely and free of foreign accenbs, buh 

probbly well enough to make myself unders:^tood in most daily situations. 

The thouglit never occured to me because I sliared tlie common German 

View th at S Wiss Germanxxxxx was a local variant, a dialect, of liigli 

German, on tlie analogy of t lie Bavrian or Franconian dialects I liad 

undäBßtoodand in part spoken in my youth. Tliere liad been some 

level li tera ture in Swiss-German . but books finjS: periodicals, and newspapersl 

'^^ /llÄocl — ' O I 

^*ere iujUüiJ iii liigli German as did'tlie lecture« at tlie universi ty 
andy^^sermons I lieard over tlie radio. Wliile I liad to get used to some 


guttural sounds^ I liked the greater ränge of [int 
<^ Swiss German would liave, a^ w4^ register of ironi^Yq^^stions , lialf- 
sliades, rhetorical questions.^P allusions quite differeKWt: from high 
German and, so it seemed to me, more entertaining and flexible. The lan^»a| 
guage did ränge from refined to vujgar/ inevitably, I^'wöurd attimesr "^^ 
produce a^^phfaie used by a fellow Student that p^=€Fd^^ee* pained rssKicx 

f acial 

O^\^0fl^0^ wvy aclu6af(?^ 

among .1 isteners . The language appears not to have transl| 


lated well : some Swiss-German government documents I would see later 

convey pejorative meanings one likes to think had not been intended^ givei 

the higlily educated Speakers or witers using them. That some of my Bern fr| 

friends assured me that tliey did not understand the dialect spoken in 

the Valais (where my la'-^bor camp had|5 been located) , and people in Lau«fi 

FRencli })f\^\< -yOH^^V-^ ^f^V^^Ur/^ 

sänne would make fun of the pronouncivat ion ti^sed by GermaH^Siä=a^i^''^r"~'~"''^^~v^ 

"Francais Federal" ,symbolized the n:oi eraiice inherent in a mul ticul tural 


State .Antagonism and Cooperation were expressed and neutral ized 
in !f4rHgni ^rt-i^ jokes and ana g dotcG that defused them. 



> ' 


,' \y\ t^ 



noticed tliat our speaking liigli Gerinan 

witU Swiss in everyday transactions seemed to toucli upon 
resistance reactions and defensive seif -consciousness I could not 


(T Tj-<-.n1^1 — ■i^Ti^^i. ,.4 1.1. ' Ij-t-tv 

easi^ly explain^t ^i^e^^^'^^^^r^^ST^ 

conscious response. Were they ttncomf ortable speaJcing a language bliey 

had in fact learned to speak like a foreign Janguage in scl.ool ? 

Did kk« complex ambiguities pusl. to the surface in situations made 

ambiöuous by my being a victim speaking -^s^ä^^^^S^^ '-> 

waa Qnobiior OGOüaL g a ^rly on i ^"^-^^'^ ^^' '^^^ — 

made laware 

of being a ••German" •• Jew" in ways Nazi persecution and defamation 
never did - being German liad been understoodxJ'V C^-^'m^w^^ 

THl^s, b_e3^ag_^rewi^i , 4i«*::i^^ ^^ continuity 

in my life,a portable identityT^m I did not need to wear on ray 
sleeves or exaggerate into an ideo logy. Our Zionism had taught us 
that the spiritual assertion o^exife and^ return S«^=,««H could 
nov be transformed into reali^^ic acti?^ focussed on a real nm 

cal goal . 

eiie strong group^ consciousness tliat liad been mine 

since my youth, long before I realized that my family had been 

^^^XlToU^'"''' '''^ "^^' " '" Wuerzburg ,^. -V was not the converfs 
zeal^of the nickel psychologist ^ ^his conöciousnes 
n, l iiinL&L ' iiLii! üua 

s }»*:-Q^pi=öe^ nie--w4rUi 


Q^ i ^on iJ i te ile LI 

b ppn ;:>g — Ia-jLtj U 



lVh(^ if i iQGU IulK 

i^ Ha u ii pü^gHr»r 



core. It: fitted my tendency to face nuisance 

v/itli amused toi*el-ahce 





ab lonj as j^j^ aid not raisa a t:emper tanttuin wiieiv '.t became " t 


s iiigli tJiresiiold for annoyaiice5> l>e f-öire-tlTü^ 


ciiolaric d isposibion, and 110 taleiit for self- 


pity, a aijsöHiijiaK reaction patter'|npi raalcing for tlie kind of 


ophimism" tliat: miglit liave brouglit: about 

my sei f-deshruction tylirouc 

foolisli optimism in Berlin v/lien I refused t:o accept: hlie infinite 
capacity of my fellow-men for abysmal stupidity and evil. 

Wliat I probably did not appfreciate at tlie t 
but liave learned vitli age and insiglit was tlie 
raceived from fclie quality of tlie cit 


unconscious help I 

y of Bern, i experienced iL 

s excitingly different fr 

om what I had Icnov/n until t 

iien, my ontrar 

ate to li 

umanism and liberalis: 

ment, autono^my in freed 

m, political order 

om: I w.[ould clio ;osa tlie t 

and decenfc governl 


^ v.y ■ > M 

ic of my 

disertation fr 

om among tlj li choi ces 

my Sponsor v/ould pre 


^n^ 1^,6^ preif 



cisely in term of tliis feelina t 

ng tone. I rejffused to 



tliat Bern offered al 


o associatipOns JSBU//jL 


urban liistory and culture, follcl 

ore and nature,the quaint/^-tevive 





rvivmg^idiosyncratic^ij^' folklor 



|. ]iad bee 


part of my early youtli, unacknowledged in quiet rage. IT must 
have carried me back in time, unconsciously and uncknowj edged 

tliat in front oftlie venerable Symbol Swiss federalism, tl 









f armers ^d gardeners of f ered tlieir produce in a colorful and 


many quaint: features/ tlie spectators' deliglit, did 



not: revea 

city State 

over centuries 

tlie wealtli and tlie power tliat liad built R^oksx cctxkIxeLXÄaxcxkÄn t: 

:?fi©gcKiKB , t h e families tliat liad l5Ki:2^^XK 

the magnif ic^etly 


cohesive cityscape formed by tlie facades of tlie patrician palazzi 
lining tlie streets. I would enrol in several courses in Swiss 

liistory andApay nearly annual Visits' to a town tliat explam^^ 

better tlian t-tr^? ^ 

figures liow tteey 
it4«^jf ' 


imbolio la l aaoo or my th-embroidered , -^ i 
ry xxxaiixafeH came to be-^ Wm ' i ' C wlien I needed 

But my reference groups were not/ "Les Messieurs de / 
Berne," as tliey would be call ed^ «T the many territories they .^ 

^ \ 


ly<'^ ^ ' / ^/ 'V / 


. \ 



f had i™ji2jiiqjLjiiLa to tlieiV soufcli an 

d ¥est,but tlie Jewisli Gemeinde, 


/ ~ 


Q'{ H'l tü"^^^^^ 



fe ite univGr&l 'fr y 
registered^in early December 1943, I visited tlie Congregation • s 

social Service officß to make my pres#ence known. Its one-woman 
valu^Lci --s^»^*^, Mfes-. Nelly Bollag, would becorae a warm-liearted friend 

^^*****''*'*****'^'^''"''^***»*'^ wlio served because sheps.&&d&äxkk&x 
XBxpHHSBXHlxkHrxEkargHKx understood btS4"umer quo üJu^^/j'^ hat ifr^ 

b^ h,Xi^6.<. CM^^^l /go^:,^ -V'-. ^>r- 

^e-;;^g&«^j it l £ u i In du c m c ompm;» ke-ft^4-ft^V 

\ , , ,> 

i^ocbGof ul — ett^roamea-t-. Slie 
would introduce us to several members of tlie congregation OR -a b jOCld 

an interview with a Journalist, Herr Wyler, 

f^iS'",,, would s 

■ . /■ / 

on ^se German erjc^^ui ienuej smä- resistance, and, knAw a gynecologist for- 
me ^ ^ 
Lotte and a dentist for/when we needed them later on. She and lier 

one of JikH \S^^f-' , 

husband were aSÖÄf the raost authenticaTf^/^^sh couple^-Zwe wpuld meetl 


-zerland . 

^he. Z^\c{)o^s^9ok vv» ^ 



oupie^'we yDuld 

t:rlie rabbi, Eugen 
Messinger, tlie son of .^«r'Tjnml^r a n t rabbi 

probity and s teadf astness liad 

.s4;- Q - rirn^ ys^pe ^ wl 1 o by li 





owed Jiim m tlie 

Citizens both Jewisli and non-Jewisli /\ Euger^oU 

J^ t".. P/ fc :. He ha<^)repared himself for a law career 

r^ft3*¥fsi*» *#*a*- xfcHJtjcxHg fö^xsx^s^xag^^g^^xxxxxxxxxxxx. «te rabbi nie 

Klcal succe^sion^as to ^ fee (tlie firstborn. 1. 1 u^ to tT^di— " 





were "at iia«e| 

C t^l Pi 

r^red prematurely. aja-ä- Eugen liad t:o fcake liis place. 1 
home" om Friday niglits. m l ii iuimL ü 1 y ii ü Ii jiuJlj i, His first ^.göS^ 
Ml deldKi. 


Ti off er to 

to tlie British Consulate General 

U^ — 

tlie British armyXö«.^. was 

turned down out of 
"collared the lot" 

liand: the British government under Churchill had 
of/irefugees and interned them on the Isl^e of Man 
and other camps as "e neray aliens" ^ ä4kI It liad taken a goc^ "d^ of 
effort to overcome thf/spy hysteria thab^once again, like in 19i4 

lad seized Britain in 1940. Sorae of these internees had been 



to Canada and Australia, with considera ble loss of life wUen German 

torpedjjed tlie fcroop sliips on wliicli t liey were kraxHlixK^x 
Had • ^^^" BribishyÄed no raw 25-year oldUSklk'wllo^^S^ML«^. 

never lieard a word of cockney in liis Knglisli Mi&fc. 

Eugen Messinger and I soon f-©tm 



relationship that lasted beyond my stay in Bern. I did -s^rre researcli, 

„„av- . tauglit some of i 

ÄK«xwrote reports and book reviews for liim, and X«««ä«»«xSk fc],e moderni 

•Hebrew courses the Gemeinde was offering in ^its adult education and 

after-snlmm nrnr.v-.^e . ., .^^ ^ / U'^^ i A oj v^^ur^^rS c^ 


ciQSa&e-My Berlin sfcudies at the HochsclnneAupplemenfced ]iis more 
conventional orfchbdox traininq. On Marcli 24,1944, lie married tlie 
simple religious ceremony we ag^^e^^ upon in liis own liouse/T *^ Mrs 

U Act-^^^ Singer, a Dutcli Woman, prepared an 


. ' I strayed t: 

luncliQsan for us and 

. Tri 

e day could not 

c^^ cSr:my 


KHxwiXH our afeyli - ü . i^ (^eeTTngs. ^ our tliouglits sis: 

and fri ends see xiixg grgig^ n alive 

:)arenbs/^we st:ill lioped to be XHKMRiksM^#?^JR in tlie 

■ ir- 

.a c t" wa s a Joint tri p t 





g t- T rT Q 




<^ ^ »-> *- 




/<? \ \ 





We liad been invited t: 


;:o tne firwSt post-war^ilnte^rnit- 

^nal co nfexQJice of-^tli nTbrld ^Ni on For Progressi^ J^d^^-i 




lelebrafce<JCLeo B^ec k's return/ from Theresien§>a-ä''b ^/l i tt;e cliangid, ^ 

silent oh liis expTeriences uf un ■ 

- He would/^liis liUQjTiadyo Qf these/years 


\y\A <: <^.j 7^,. 

when lie die^ 

years later in London. 

iy\ • 

M* <<i<.iinu> 

v«MH. •n»'«4»i»«»«*»,i«t,v«Mi<*/ 


cX ^ /i^Vni (L • < r 

/W^ r*^ I^C/) . 


a t4e4_^ 

Tlie last time Eugen and I w^SSö- togetlier ocu Jjeliklf of —Uift— 

communitV feil sliortly befofe our departure from Switzerlandjf 

"■' ' - ^~. 

in lie Fall of 1946, Leo Baeck liad refcurned from Tlieresiensfcadfc^»4-4v 


and^Tre attejided tne first post-war Conference of tlie World Union fo 
Pro gerssive Ju daism in London wHi celebratejyf liis survival . He seei-| 
little cliatiged^enmfr arod fco tlio impre&e io n he liad y i>, i un in D t iilin, 
fclie preacher, tlie Organization man, tlie pillar 

of.Vorld Refprm s^ueiguyni^*,«. lie liad presided over since its foundat- 
ion.^a marvel of energy / leading f:x©mx5SKk±SKHXKXÄ«jä3t--^ qrand rabbi ' 
vw^aüMHftüg, autliority and gentleneSwS, — »fv4--r4-<: n r 1 anM^ority He Äd 
fe^rme-^-e^--^x^^<^^^-4SlxrlliiIi^ a^ j iinHfaiono abou Ktlie reports 

tM «- 

^ ^^^d sent to him on our stor^ ,and,^proj ect/ f uture plans/i 

r^ , ^ :-- p > /j'W'i '-vi?'^ i?tU'>-^^ 

^^I liad just received my PliDJ . About hiwS own Hrf^:^ tlie entire span 
^ CM tlie THOrd Reich, 4U=«=TTiirntaT^-yTy^, h 

ceration in THeresien^stadt , l^e remained silent even towatrds «b wlio 
f / ^\^^ be-^^r^-^ri L 1 1 *|i9iii *<rt^^s4^^Hbf- tliose twelve years\Ten years later, 
kßxicHiakxicHxkixxgraiHxxx Mrs toiifetone(^^^fe^<^ wliat asnwQr&- ho hd .^ 

V / 

al_Jils__j;a b b i.n ijsa^ - inigezal^i ^„^^„^Ü™'-» 

*^^^^-^ /'rc?i// <^ yCi"K<. <r] .^/iVhis 

After we liad left Switzerland for New Yprk in 1946, x^M 

x&RkftiJ?:'._Rage« -Messing er. was lit-srt?4i:y sniencifred by the conflicb 

lie liad dutiful,;y u ii iilHina. ul in tlie name of filial 

between a 




down wliile delivering a liigli-liolidav sermon, was unable to s peak, 

and confined to a liospital, but ii^iitL to start a new career 

L^jt\ ^H^ ]/^<^ 

as a newspaper editor in Bern. W^'--»ax/ liim and Mrs . Messinger as 
often as we came to Bern.from itlie 19<^s on. Following another 
breakdQwn and confinement, lie returned to work. I-h— H ts^ 6tld pii4 -^-/W4' 

treelt 1 1 i S 1 i f e ^, \^iiäklSU^hmi^kmätiMl^^^mmmJlli^iiK^SiQJ^^^^ÜUmmmSm^ 

aria ^rrarrri-m-ÄAif liad imposed on liim. I^ cr I wier what Tiis friendslj^ 

)/ ^M^^^ ^^^ *'^^^ m^^ning and mending we liad to do^un4-e^R 
U^ >r d |GGon t in u i L i e a an tXlosses 

i ■ 


iltH r 

diminisli us and :^Sfe^ <fa- ' 

♦"orivial ize 

ur mutilal 

if k 

<: ö( 1-« <^, 

f v' eu^V, "^^ 

syjipathy and understanding lia^^eaclied beyoHfö surface<and social 
roieriSW cbmmunity serviCeT~~~~~ ^ ^ - ■ ' T rf**^'^l 

^ • 

» « 

The rs^Kgsaxxxx few liuiidiCd mostly Jewisli refugefs 
I Jaet in Bern probably acted mor^tlian 

• 1 

— X ^'^-^^ such group5j.n 
SiJLss cities as a social o#j^^^ Ttte^iÄn^^ every month and| on 

o>L^-;^i • l xjK Hotel 

si^cial occ^sions m a ^jr/^-^ room at therBTui 

women ' s iijbvement 



-tQ^tltlBd..JLo,A-\rajriii\\^-'\^ the^temperance ai? 

tlie igtli and ^^.h centuries, (I had never seen i ts^quivajent 

pi Germany ar^preÄUBiceS- that alcoliolism was more of a pfVbl|m in 

TT//- ^ t^J^^eon 

jr o ffl b ^- S aturday night binge drinkin^li^n 
^^ "^ /^Jü^ne reg Ion*/ 
f:he V^rais during - my labor cami) 


- I had Vj 

v^'d W , 'M i f. <ifci«<fc« /-.x;« kt:<i 



^«^-^.Äüt. did not tliink i 


id/than in germany 7q(j LhL 


n /^,\^ 


Wliatever may liave been tlie ult:imat:e causes forithis step 

beyond tlie tliresliöld of 

tliat bedeviled his and liis wife 1 ives - 

1 suffering, tlie overt: conflict 

/ differftn 

1 m very 

üTfe — Jjd 1 a n 
*^ i V s^ 1 f /- a s s p. 


ways - liad parallel led in some ways tlie Situation I liad been 
workingtlirough vrlille we became friends during tli ose years. 
Tliat lie \v\\mhi our att:itude towards our experiences a^^pj ^ rnnf- 1 ^r 
was noTlielp for liim<""^ur quiet determi nation not to become 
enmeslied in tlie victim role/ and^transf orm pe-^^¥rgc i>4; i on into 
bii=e— balanvce beir^een Service to tlie Community and ^tÄd4-¥4^ual 

we-tF^öä^^ecome tlie pattern of my life £0fi& 

lo>^^-r- source of strengtli 

4&he«*am!j.. Eugen liad been a quiet :fexiÄR^/ ii**— •f^«^p^-Ai*'lLi uii-t 

'// ^ liis ^SJSS ^?^^ 

1 irfi m iin (ii ±K^&±±&KiL^K± gift f orempatliy /-\ created understanding 

beyond words.'/He ^ööb tlie firs t of my friends wliose deatli 
was not caused by per se^ni-ti^uXx ' , Wl mui: ifis widow 


J vinitä/^ bo Bor 

n bofoiu vislfc iübüLLlüd ilj Tsi 

^' ^ii ^\ 

cultural tradition hI jtKxxxk HrJcksdBixjc tliat liad enmeslied 

' vi { n^ 
and destroyed 

XkKxxHK±Ä±xK±JCK±Kx Compared toptlier major Swiss 


citieslike Zuericli, Basel, or Geneva, Bern slialtered relatively 

few refugees during tliese last years of tlie THird Reich por^^i^ou 
-CU^^i^^, possibly only a few liundred men, women and cliildren. 
You could recognize tJie layers of fliglit and oppression tliat 

liad driven tlinem Ö^'^'^erk^ss:^!. tlieir liomes sinc:^e 1933. Tlie largest 

^^ O tw (> )\\ o ^h 

number appeared t o liave ^ ^ q ax^ d x iivwi ^ om k % ü ^ Austria after tlie 

Anscliluss, generally an older group, a few families 

witli cliildren. 

iw students, 

intellectual refugees . 

Tlie German contingent included a small group of political 
refugees, ^mongtUem a former ^^^i ^Social De..ocratic politician 






1^ tl&v+i^^ 

Crispiery He liad played a revolutionary role in Germany in 1918, ^olA 
liad a distinguislied career a^s a pari iaraen tarian and State minister 

in WUerttemberg and a mem^ber o:^^^t|liß,^^i le Socialdemoratic Party 
executive. In 1937, liowever, lie tö« oü sted from liis leading 
powsition in exile politiCwS as being^^too mild and^ uncombat ive . Settl ing 
dovn in Bern on a stipend of a |Qcialist aid Organization amounted to 
retirement to private life and^felid^'i opportunity to infuse liumane 
considerations into tlie often combat ive politics of tlie German 
Left exile. J(,|^ 

There were/^ome some political refugees and some stude nts wliose 
xixMiKHt verbal acti vism/\5^s radicalized by tlieir distant from <^ ^^^^ 
action t^ter-m-ig^i4=— fe«4ca_aipan_ i^^ Tlirougli tliem, I got first acquainted w: 
witli^^tlie results^ of tlie^xile's often penetratiöng analy sis of Nazism 

- "Fascism" in tlie globalizing agit-prop language of tlie period. 
Our debates and disagreements amo unt ed to * f-arr^,being weaned f-rm ii 
a w a y from 1 1 1 e e s t a b 1 i sh me n t a r i an J.n nocence oft rajHl; i ori äl ISoTTtTc a 1 

history/ although tlie do gmatism of know-all Mä^Tst^ceFtainties grated 

^my historical /-philological need for precisJröri. 

///O M^'^^ i ^ ^^*yC nh ^7/ 


^7 ' 

t fwfMr-^^^**Tfr^frsr!rmr^^ ) ) xä jöx ÄÄÄHfciHS /o c i a l i s t 

st Views on recenb lii^styfy and on fiture Ge/'man 
small grou^ am'awg ti^ i wi i was a-f-tii-i a fe^d ÄLt-li Pro- 

testant or Catliolic 

fr upportod by feite GWino Ar - 

social agencies^ Är tur Griopion wog 


Jilost of tlie refugees wer 

i of Jewisli desceiit ^or liad belonged to a synag:;rogue/communi ty 

-^Ö.J" ' '^x^ept a few elderly persons-'^ 
\ S y II a Q o g efn q e m e i n d e ) ' ;\non^ a^ppea^^etf^==!fo"~~':l^i5X|5Xai^^ 

Q^ attend/synaGOGUE SERVIÄCEes now .;- and Austrian 

IJXÄKJjiÄXHgxRlÄXÄxJikÄRxÄÄÄÄÄisHÄiiy <f ÄHix very few Germäia^Jewi 

liad been active in Jewisli organizations of any Icind^ anlyMxÄxkÄÄJ 
a k^M^feMixx few coiisidered^ themselves Zionists^xKspXMSIiSIISx^ö^ 

younger prof essionalsfand students would move towards tZionis)ri 

C^Kl^ fiiid^ 

lestine^^^emotional support^ kÄx^ÄÄixXiJfekxx iRxfckÄxi^ÄÄXÄi: 

and Pa 

from the bleak images.of near-total non-resistance among Jews: 

\ 4^15^ .i2i^ Aus tri ans , \ 

in ghettoes and camps . BesidesyGermahwS/KHÄxÄüsJkxiHHSx, CP^^XJ 


|few persons of otlier nationale 
their wayto Bera^^a^ f9eenACheclis, Hung 


origin had found 
arians , Romanians , 

•^ J^d^-^iMH 

y^probably some f irst-generation Frencli Jews of Eastern- 


European background. SOmewhat set apart from the rest of the 
refugee groupVas a small group of ^^^ii^^llr^^ students, 
primarily of medicine , who had begun -Ig^ grTrtp^ - yi n Switzerland 
before Germany had invaded Poland in Septem ber 1939, gt«KJy<^^e:^- 
TtTpLud Lli.e f lür of funds from homey^^Some among them spoke^ POl ish 

as their first language, i.e. belonged to the small assimlated 

,; i n t o 

well-to-do Polish Jewish bo^urgeoisie whose development ^^ a 

cultural or ipojitical f- 

'force among PÖlish Jews had been symied by the shift of 

power to the orthodox or the Ydiish-speaking Labor movement 
iTr-^re^TT^SSS^: tü^^ttT^^^ the 1 a t e r 1 1 h c e n t u r y ^ 





It was tlie good fortune oftliese many small groups 


and circle s t:liat an exfcraordiuary Swiss worain liad underkaken t:o 

at: least 
creafce a serise of Community amoug tliem and lift tliem iSMJtx bempo-j 

<rärtl?out of tlie ennui tliat enforced idleness inflicfcs on 

f economic Status 

middle-class people for wliom work def ine(5([kkÄixxÄS«X^^xi|^i:Köö and 

iksirsocial mobility. Bern was tlie liome of Gertraud Kurz, 

tlie Flueclistlinqsmutter^ |n contrast to Eugen Messinger . a clieerful 

extrQ.-ixJtovert wliose ruddy complexion ,open face, and sturdy , f i 1 P^ed-out| 

frame suggested more an p:mmentlial peasant ma triarcli of old 

w^aLtli and good eci,ucation than tlie sensitive, #»S5«h|f -fe^I^^^^s 

non-conf ormist and activist slie actually wasJ-V^ llie 

headed a radically pacifist Protestant group, tlie Kreuzritter, 

Clirstliclier F ried ensdienst # probably lier own creation I t'iiought al 

at tlie time,since we never m^^et any otlier membier of her organi- 

zation. Gertrud Kurz and her family belonged to the Bern and 

Swiss establisliment of. Service» , cul ture , and ksXxksjcX influence. 

Dr. Kurz, her husband looked the part: he headed one of the 0ern 

Gymnasia and lield staff rank in the Swiss army, one of the nuclel 

social \)\iP ^ d.x ^ c?i/H 

^ Swiss iMJcÄÄMÄÄ networks. Frau Kurz li^d InS tiCTil?«!' monthly 


meetings open to all refugees in i>own and neighborhood . THey 


ee. ^/t^<'!o 

corabined Viennese-sty le coffee liours with inf ormat ion/^rTTfe^lTüfesTT 


musical and poetry recitations, birthday and anniversary celebratil 
tions, andoffered enougli variety to drawj^ in even politicical 
refugees and students -n ot all of whom apprec iated a l--i-T)'f"~:" t 1 1 e i » e 
finl iii"(" . In betwe^n such meetings, Frau Kurz ^^^iHr-"R ^r e s fi i"^H-c "to 

»«■f^flrarl agencj'-^^tecfffpsafe or xgiii£ic4tg .^^i)>j M :QQua3rQ ^ iG ; routines. 

\j\ jj^±_wc 1 1 - [-, l a-<u.J ^^o- 1/1/ y ' • t ' * 

Slie ^a^^S^*^K'öbtain«|^ results or 






frora government: (mainly Alien Police) agencies top ab leassb 


reconsider a caseiii tlie liglit of new informabiQii or 
O^Q. cill' — 

expl analst: ions provided . Her persona lity ,lier speecli , lier ^.cbnf idencGy and 

lier very clieerf ulness and reliability in contacts witli refugees 

liad establislied lier as a 

beloved and revered pillar of strengtli 


celebaratö)Dn|v7liose Cliristian -Jewish syn r crebism opened up a new 







more tlian ^ decade 

after t:lie event.(1942 - 1954/571 

).Wliat slie and tlie otlier SWiss men and women of conscience accom- 

plislied m fclie Fall and Winter of 1942 may well liave/ya link in tlie 

cliain tliat,pulled us aboard Switzerland as'our last 

resort a year 

earlier. in early August, 1942, tlie Swiss cabinet liad 


i ts 

Police and Justice Department to close tlie country's front(|)ers 
to all but military and political asylum seekers d^ mo ns . t r q tl4 »g 

\iiKtg^. bfe^' ¥ou Id face deatli if refu sed entry. A departmental (minist 

^ " raci a 1 " 

sterial) decree dated August 6a liad ex plicitely excluded xBO^^ßikx 

persecutees from being ad mi t tedl/i tliout proper Swiss visas, , even 
" if they mg^ face serious hardship upon being r^fiar ^^riatoc^ > " S 




«--wfeis 4 ncl'T.Tdg'd :il 

frontier scurifcy forces/ 

Qlfehougli Owifls ^ government departments and Intel ligence agencies and 



numerous isixii lay and cliurch organizat ions liad LjumWifn reliably 
learbned f-re^n tli eir 4sh\ Information agenc lesend f romFeye-wi tness 
accounts tliat Jews faced mass M-U Im^b in Nazi-occup ied ' Eastern 
Europe.At — b hc fclma /f/Jie absolute liorror of wlmt iraa CQntjuiinQ . d 
i4^^i^m^k f e p o 'g L a tea-el- t o ^cpsEfFPt-Jia t o numeroUwS tliresliolds of resistance 

to be believed - my own liope tliat ytS^' ^gey not *fe true illustrates 

d(?fe nces/ 
tlie web of JcSSiSicäftSJÄxÄV^J^^ i^''^ ^'-l^s ii^ii^^ d of a potent ial victim. Atrocil:| 

storcies liad been spread in World War One , and /deounked 
"psyc liological warfare" - wliy sliould tlie unimaginable be believed 
•n^now ? Tliatjnationai in terestfliad not di^ma^i-^©^ lilw, lii iHhih äw e 

"racial persecutees" and ^mtmämMSSEBBBSBBSSISBB^^ great }iumani| 






tarian tradition^ 0£ in tlie Fall of 1942 may Aliavex»^:^^iä |swiss 

\T\JJL. \_« 


FederalPResident Kaspart Vil liger on May 7,199.^5, to slpealc pf Swiss 

V ^^ Lotte and I 

guilt and ask for forgivenesws " for tlie unf orgivable . " ks and 

our "Hl luuiR 11 ow 

4fK«xfellow refugeesxi m e i i in quaL ' RiiUiiiL. miü luLiui 

BmiukiimimmAmm^ßm^s^Fr^ save 

uiiül iwn in 



Sv/iss Citizens had h' 

-s4: IrO' what tliey 

had learned from their scliool days ö^/ fchat ifSWiss national interest 

identical witli 

was. humanitarianism and international responsibi lity, Uie ultimate 

sanctionWof neutral ity . 


iJtk^Mak even after tlie conspicuou 

German defeats at St:alingrad and El Alamain andtlie US -landing in Nor 
North Africa, government official;s and political leaders 


«iV Ui "ÜLUllUilllL UliUUL UJ 


tiunu /ilJi'JJJItflUii - 

^''German mimiitary and economic threafc as serious and realistic 
enough to avoid provoking Nazi journalistic extremists by 
ÄppsEXHiHgxkHHX admitting too maay Jewisli refugees.In spite of 
this caution, whatever its combined motives, religipous and 
politicval 1 eaders and public opiniou prevailed over bhe power 
tecnician ab the center. Ifc was a probably unique revo Ifcs of 
the good and good-willed against the exclusion of Jewish :^^±m 
persecuteets from the safe liaven of a liberal democracy by 
tue government in power tiiat Frau Kurz and her colleagues accom- 
Ikiitlt ^liL^'isiääxiMii migration emergencyof 1933 to 1945. 
She has joined many other SWiss Citizens in my private hall of 






Ul /^^Miiidk-lW/i^ 





<^oinp-^i'X^ K I t^^iß^/t^ 




^^^Yj li 

^"^^^^-^ ^^ftj^lk Uam\^.oc 

^^^'^^j l \^l^^a.^ ^^r , ^l^ e.cuJ^},^',^(p. 

Wc^\ <- 1 ^ 

((^^ ^V^M^ 

\<^i\^^li^. y^ 



IMOplt I ^'\o-']AA^A^J [lJ ^^ ^V''^^ -^^ ^^*^ 

f Ceo^j 

HC ^vJ 

4„ i'd^ 

o\ l\U 



■.f.joci, U ?^A/^ 



C O u 






M'^i ' 

IhU ho 









Sj'h^ -f '"-' 


Z^ O^ 

i _ 

ess ana penny-le 

VNn\V' left three y 
M88« ;,ith a 

I^fe— ti±d-. ^Jfvarrived paperless anfl penny-less and /^ 
ears later^ xifck still pennylewSs^but JtÄÄXixRäxfeÄkiR^xV/f 

Pli.D. degree of the university of Bern and a univer- 

sity education in the only German-language culture tliat liad been 
been part of Western ciüvilization witliout break for many centu- 
ries-I h^ tried to understand, art d wdb lielpeJ — bo" appreuidtg by 
my.--tr€^arc11B^hr«-T tlie constitioonal dsevelopment and tlie political 

^ '*' 


\[ cid/^' 





cu Iture a^anU/^ U^ its federal structure, I liad been able to 

travel xxxiJkkxpsrmixKija^^xafcxiHÄKJkxiHxpHrixK to many y^landscapes , 

\\(xß begön g^\h ^ v ^y^J^y ^ o ^^ , ' 

'S- iSiSHisHxxxHd ^ L a.ct-ift gVaf f airswitli tlie city ^f Bern -where 1 would stu 

dy - Lake Geneva - where Lotte ' s aunt and uncle Ifved - and tlie 
R lione Valley - the site of "my ••x«XkxillxÄ"labotr camp for five sun- 
^filled months in 1943. i liked and respected tlie v m-r-urw Y TT' 
Professors witli wliom I stud ied in concentrated fasliion formy finai 


ex<4am^ination and mys dissertation© I feit relaxed and at liome witli 

. feiij 

members.of the 

l«e Jewisn congregation 



in Bern, :wJJiJ4^-ö^me f ^TTTTTT^^^^ and 


experienced Swiss 

O T'VovA t\A\ u\/\ (y^(f 

^ J V tf \\o~i\ 



7^ J > 

free of t lie forced 

-^ C\A V\\r^ f^\ 

e^^ V 


atylG o:^ .| M H »y 

Iv n t e I i Q r f wJ:^w<3^Uyld-^mee.L-.Jj^ I a t e r ^ y ea r s as alcxMxx a tourist.Äaö 

A, be 




^y CV»U y|>t<,^ ^n (J__ the 

riends witli RxA8XxMii8XxgiM^8SiS:i:xkke^?f?Bi Eug 


Ju l 

> # Oj^ir^y r * ^/N'v^^ 


en Messinger 

with Jeanette and He inricli Kleinert Kii5kxXkÄlQxitx^öllli«x^x±?5^x$ö«^ 

ÖAaa»' 0»» 

and tlieir family, wJrth-Airti 





iiu-r- Emoli Q -j (f 

qAAV^^ (/Vi 

^ lA/.//' 


ffte^-^^ie-f-eerffte*"--' -German ö^^ate 

^^p < 


attcbrney and «x^g^ ö^K^l^^K^wi tli a few fellow students. After ten 
years of watc-lif ul reserve in relating to s^ksxxx tlie anonymous otlier 

and (2 ust as 


0%timmmm%*^ '*'• 

dividing the wotl'd AßxMSxMSlxJiMg» 

xxxx into in- and 


out-groups^as before, the barriers of caution andwariness were 




begmning to melt away. "Bern ' «ft?^" ix corries as a reserved and 


cautious typey yjbut liis gravity will cliange if one pierces liis selfh 

Containment .in Tliere had been peo ple with rougli manners andxMHxs^±HSjäxx>| 

reflexive disrust, but ixÄÄaxxiixxiyxJOÄÄWryxi.xx^rajixxix)Xxi^ 

x.^§Lg<i-j:^ftZcultur,al differences over time^ , ^ , 

tTolTSk±xiJ^ could lOÄX De transformed ^i«tö 'dialolue, however rudimentary, 

V^ J I 

given the Chance »j^Kxx^iicuB . :äxxraxxjd:]£^t]exxc±:»Ä^äxxx^ 5f k^icÄxX^:§x A5$3Cxi§^5$Xx3Ä5j l| 

g!-eg4;QQ-e ^co c c G Qggc y i 

Some specific differences emerged as unbryidgeable : I ^^e g jh; ^^ o pposed 

attempts by well-meaningf ^krixJfcaaR cliurch persons to proselytize 
amond uprooted and dis-oriented refugees, and I understood the 

human and moral differenceds thati set traditional Communist-Bolshevist 

values lightyears apart from Western values ( as I would call thera fefee 

then) of liberal democracy, civil rights OÄtsdrggrrea- and juiflicial; 
safeguards of basic freedoms. I had become quite sensituve to being f 

forced or manipulated in my personal life and in ioyx^55|i 

I cliose 
ßiriapiRrxpublic X±&&x behavior: my dissertation x&nüiäi topic to beitter 

understand wh^y German hxKkary constitutional history deviated from 
the Swiss and the West precisely in tliis area where publicPg?iFogative 

XN. J participation in öovei? anvf^rnmf^nf ^vvfl^ik 

0\^/?^democtratic k^ilkk^^iixk^^ the pe?§o^9TI''p?!vat^S spher 

delineted^^ in civil jf-right s catalog ues. XkHXHXKSjKfix 

^ were 




And I learned to 1 ive witli persons I could not reacli 

or whose values I consider petty or prejudi ced f againsl^ my person 

the German background I p rojected, or the Jewish quality I stfessed. 
sOme of theijTsre would turn into lasting Mostility . 

I liad arrived in Switzerland witliout any conception 
about my destination. 

I had arrived in Switzerland with no i ntenion of 
staying on. From the very beginning, my p :gi^jaA^ papers reflect tmy 
Intention to leave IsksxisiaMHlcx - M$MMiMMM««»^««^^«ä««ö¥«gax?i€« 
^^Z^x^^^^^x^^^K^x^^xxx . Numerous conversation witli t lie *quite friend 
federal police off icials xgisll^is^teiMk^Mxsi^iilkMx i n Bern 

^had laid ^own the grou ndrule of our stay , ourxrs^MgKHxx SwiSwS 

identif ication 

laxÄÄÄXXxfiKsSÄlJtÄH papers - tlie xh^m^hh Fluechtlinqsauswei s - had to 

be renweed from year to year. i had to report to t he cantonal police 

bureau in Bern every Wednesday, and wliiu^e relations with the desk offil 

officers became qu ite cordi al, tlie c4r 

tliat you we^rgrn an infao» 


et pfu forget 

lived on suff^nce- Fundamental 
for tl/s perception wg^s the prohibition to accept any gainf^ul ^mplo 

ment, and tlie fact tliat ) never as much as started to leari?^ Swiss 


German. :khKxBaxKxsxdiÄ:jciHistAltliougli Bernese Swiss German appeare 

farther removed from SOUthern German dia:jclects than, say, Basel 
Scliaf fli^ausen or Zuerich |;^Swiss) German , and thus^al a separi^ate la 
laguage, not a mere d ialect of "li igli German "xixÄÄXxiJtxSRiy 

I never made an 


effort to advance beyond tne crude jcusswo rds some of my 

^, ^ . ^ V. i^^ tlie local language 

more eartliy Swiss fel|low students would use; to tlie ann oyance - 

of more refined listeners. ifcxRÄXÄJtxÄÄKMJtXÄ^xfeÄxMÄxiÄxiÄÄXÄxfckÄxx 

iÄRäu^gÄx I iiave no doubt t hat our Swiss partners, in turn, 



It grated by ^ f^anguS|g«#Si 

bput 5-vi^^ ^ fl^V A^ ^'^ ^^^^ compx.:^ 1 ^c 

xMh ^le more tliey liad/to repress ^^g.^ memory Öf 


yY . 1 feit guite mambivalent 

thiesänd prejudices^ mixed with j^^^^^fsuM^^^M 

r^^-^-^a-Cknowledgeci and realistic fears.^aat j 

C^ German äfmieis iand SS woul(3 overrÜn Switzerland (1940) 




Tlie entire society liad paid a higli price 

for the maximum preparedness with whicli t hey would meet ^^xxiSM^' 

©ven without it, 
MS^MS a Nazi or Fascist mvasion^ aniäxraiQa food supply and econo] 

nomic viability depended to a major extent on the goodwill of 

tlie Axis powers surrounding the country on all sides. Clearly 

Swiss policies towards raiMgfiKXxxx Jewish refugees were perceived 

XkRMÄ an 
as closely linked to SWiss security concerns - #K?8K^x|$gi^jjg ^^ 

intingible and impeecise ünkage of changing signif icance , 

as the political and institutional players sought to maintain 

JkrikliiHKaiSxI religious, moral and political traditions 


perceptions of nati onal interestyx^^ the time, 

p ublicized opinion, spoken and printed, from parliamentary d 

bates t 




Cc Q^\X O^x 



debates,/^ iermons and chu i rchpliamhlets /^ articul 


a dilemma whose aftershocks can on occasion stiil come to the 
surface among liberals well as conservat ive patri ots alike. 
The documents included in the parliament ary report of 1957 iÄKyMxig; 
contain passages that,even at the time, grated Swiss sebsitivities, 
not behause (as one parlamentarian put it in 1942) bureaucrats 
had adopted "neu-deufesth-CNazi jar gon) but becauseit revealed 
attitudes and discourse that^had no place in a liberal democracy. 
As another parlamentar./an said in 1938 •• m each of us lurks a 
l^r oder larger anfisemite. I feel him on occasion in 



breat, too Let us remember that a universal human sphere resides 

(thront) above above all races and nations. It is anchored in 
inalienable rights. Alon'-e in this sp^here we Swiss still find ' 
lives worth living." Ludwig p. 1 37 .Nationalrat Mug-ller, Biel). 
The overwhelmingmajority of Swiss Citizens, from the large towns 
to the remote, church-centered hamlet,is on record for uphoiding 
kMMHHxiyx their traditions in the best possible way against thq 
Police and military mind, even in,,the police and the military ue^"^ 


discretion in exec 


ng harsli measures. 

This may explain our experience with Swiss 


had contact with over the years in many diverse relationships , 
except employment:there was no contradiction between "persona;^ 

experi^ence" and the pattern of po litics. As I noticed ääää after 
living outsideof internment campITi^lTri^uman^Telat ions , possibly f^ 
from many his torical influen ces and 

amnd economic hardsliip of living side by side in 

memorie s, the physical closness 

• -^ 



vV t^^<Ä^ ^ 


>a<jl^|("">'^* ^^'l^'i'^, 


bore t]\e stamp oif 
and liistorically poor country, kKdxXÄÄMiiÄMxiH a strong identificat- 

^^^ ^A^^\^ iQcal an d regio nal cuiture, poli tics/^and religion xk^^^ 
ÄfeXÄXÄÄxXÄÄx enforcing the traditona/ Gemeinschaf t around jfJiSx tlie 




H'" J 

p8«*8k pump or the KIrchtu m , the emotional dynamics of the seif 
vs.tlie other/ K a-o±ja.afi4-t^?e4rg- fe^ 7 vs. " ^les messieurs de Ber ne * 


Jews, strangers par excellence, hadbeen to'^^lerated only in a few 
territories of p4rd(Switzerland .Tliey acliieved legal euality and citi: 
citizenship only in the later 19th Century and u nder foreign,in- 
cludi ng American piiressure. In spite of some Immigration from tlie A, 
Alsace and from Eastern Euro pe, they numbered a mere 20,000 persons 
in tlie 1940s, a minuscule minority among 4.5 million Cliristians. 
Nationalrat Dr.Mueller's "antisemi tism in every Swiss soul" reflect 
pre-modern anti-Judaism becomin^aware of wliat it had wrought 
^^''l^en i^awd-^rtw*! tl/e modernv natio]j(!nal ist-racist var-i^^y. r cpTrodaen- 

t^ gd \j^ Qu: 

It happened so tliattlie relief I feit when tliat Sw iss fro 



f- r- Li'-' 

frntier gard took me into custody kxd developed into axxHx±i:Äfa±K 
SKiÄKfiXjaaHi'lasting openness to tlie very diverse lahdscapes, tli e 

\^ - ' ^ijlß ^ÄlfSÄxÄfexRxMiieMIc« the cities of Berne and Lausanne, the canMn XäMäJ 


:-!»■■ ■^■»^.„„„HHHI,^,,!^,^^,^ 



Valais and its Alps, I met the Swiss as a foreign Student would, 

ob/ ^ "^ liarboring no expec^tations that I would ever settle in tlie 


country. Tensions and p rejudice I did meet: my fellow students 

at the univorsity, often of rufe-äl origin, rarely oßened up for 
" . -■ * ^-^-=^-^:::zzrz=:r:==^^ French-fepeakim 

* Before 1798, the city State of Berne includedAiflependent 
teritories that had been militarijydef eated and ruled from Berne 
until Napoleon dissolved the old confederacy. 

> ^ 


9^ t'^ 


relaxed fri endsliips across tlie mutual seriwse of dxxtxHKXx 
culrural and pe rsona/l d istance, but once a spark tlpew 
between kindred soul:jcs it often lasted a life-t ime . I was firmly 
rooted in tlie small Jewisli Community of the city of Bern and 

in its tiny group of Nazi refugees, Jewisli medicaljt stTuden.-ts from 

r. , ^ r , , , , intellectual 

Poland standed by the outbreak of t he war , andj^migres from 4ienna. 

I took a demanding program of Seminars and lecture courses at thge 

\ ± T^uuis. d aemanaxng program ot Seminars and 
. X*" univsreity,and found what amountd to almost 

a second liome in tlie 

i I * 1 4- { ^ 

J reading room of tlie Stadtbibli othek wliere one could leave booki on one'l 

gworking desk under t he green-porcelain sliade o i f x JcMSx ^-9^*^--'Cr^"^^tr«^y 
desk lamp. I let myself be spoiledf by the unassum ingly natural 
courtesy of daily and anonymous contacts. ^nd I never lost the un- 
conscious curiosity and acc eptingness for fc]fexS|xxMlixxxxxKBiHKicxyxHKÄ 


axKiJ:il£Mre that liad given me my first taste of life unrestraiuned by 
fear* c^nd watclif ulness become second nature äh the end of my German yea 

years, even if t lie iiM±:fcxxEilxx grir-44-le-cJrJ^s quality of some Swiss h 

conditiona was at times stif ling and liad w^t^-^^S^^^^^^^^^^^^^ / 

and feelingsof many of the young people Iknew, 

THat I was aiiitiliii^RltÄi^8Xx"cijavi lian in ternee" under 

police surveillance"HHxiHaxK to attend the universty of Berft until 

furthetr notice" by the Federal Department of Justice and POlice" 
or that I 

XXkÄ reported every Wednesday to the Cantonal POlice or was su^pposed 
to ask permissison to travef outside the city liad xfexHiMi^Hikjcxx no 
I bearing on my sense of wel l-Abeing and mhxkmhh^ intellectual movement 
^nd the active share i took in the life of the refu gee Community 
in town and beyond . i lived as if suspended emotionally in a presen^e 
become absolute, as if emotions were frozen and refused to acknow;edge 

. » > 






what becjame a certainty , f rom a possibility and a probability, 

tliat all|^ Uuiir liad b een caught liad been murdered, tliat we would not 

See anyone ever agin,the final lity of »mx Separation and jjkÄix death, 

had been 
the unacceptable collective catastroplie I xax living througli, denial 

and latency.continuity and reconstruction of motives and drives 

tliat liad formed my life,sorting out emigration goals and ideological; 

directions in the liberal condition of freedom that penetrated 

from numerous sources - Swiss cult ure - and clarified my meaning. 

}[c.|^. L ^-^ 

jiÄ.-^o^'^'' xc^oit^'-^^^^^ 


Tlie tliree years I spent in Switzerland 

■ frnm Na7i Fipj l in in Juno^ lO^ ^T 
le some of tlie most serene and liopeful/ years of mj 

life. a coda between 1 iving precariously in Nazi Berlin and 

"^ ^ - -• j^j^ penury in c:xv-e^wie4m -ittg New York. I liad enbered 


Switzerland to save our lives. It/öffered tlie only 

realistic liaven we could liave reaclied 


tlie only country in 

Continental Europe w iiage membersfof Lotte 's family IrandTig-^^d^ 

1 1 se- - So l io o iiaK e f g y liad been able to smootli our way aai ' oas . 

Tlie crucible of facing arrest and deportataion^ being liomeless 

fugitives m Berlin, j^^^ drained 4HB of m^ long-range time 
perspective/%1 liad never been tgp Switzerland or tliouglit mucli a^öu| 
about itf and I was ready to accept wliatever would ksxxxx 
xicHXHX come my way as long as I could return to tlie quest 

for intek 1 lectual direction tliat liad protacted me ag^inst tlie 
fear and despair I sliould liave feit liadlb ^on r 



j_ . Tlie tliouglit never c rossed my mind tjiat I 


would emigL " Ql; i G -*rT!) Switzerland aftd build a life tliere. ^r\l 
been asked at tlie time about p'lans for|ftlie future, I would liave 
asserted my riglit to return to (jiiL'ii>cmy and serve wliatever 
Jewisli Community would need serving.I would also have 

pointed to Palestina as my destination and to tlie plans I 

/W ^ , 

liad made to prepare^' a co nstructive life t liere as a worker / 

and 0^ teaclier in a collective setlement ^qv yr^n>->g ^ir^iv^-j ^^.^ 1 ,,^ 
Witli time and reflection, jg/^ g-a^Hns clianged as my ImmiHi liorizon/ 
expandecyj htrt ^bout two years after arriving in Switzerland 

|»?'^/c>vy\ ^ Jc^"^^ '^^fol^li ^JLupi- as ; uf j - lull lilgte jiH \^ \ }\ ■ ■lyimuiilr in my mind. ^ 1 

C^ IrH 


It suited my mood and my 4rtfmww;w?^wi^ prefernces 

to tlie T, I owned only wliat I carried on my back (and in my liea d 

liad ^jcü^ 
a md lipartrr, gf f e o ur5 g > / and^jadded only as mucli as woulfl fit into 

pr ]1^ u 

a suitcase 5JXr two len I le^tlie co/'untry about tliree years later. 

Tlie restrictions imposed on my freedom by Swiss int ernment , 

regulations soon became routine^ or could be disregardedxiikH. 

^lations witli <Ö» federal or cantona.1 pol ice /icarried no tlireats 

- and tliet/ us / \ v iu n «'-v^ <:'^ 

as we got to know tliem/and metysome of tliemisocially at partie 

Qq£ iI«esaBii.|acquaintances^ Tlie people I came dosest to were 

fellow Jews, tlie rabbi and liis wife/the v olunteer social 




workfrer/and her liusband, tlie s^tr^t sty(dents I met in classes 

^ ii\^ 

I sQ ked ■t^Q4-^e in t he Gemeinde System. 

Amd while I kept my 

distance frommost of the professors, a few would break through 

my barriers and establich cordial links- tliere was some 

talk t^'at some professorial wives dijnot enjoy associating with Jews 

In a similar vein, Cooperation witli fellow students in Seminars 

and exercises/Went on smootlily and factually, with mMicMai respect 

for mutual attitudes and 

Personalities^ -- students appeared 

not very relaxed or outgoing, nor , I presume^ was I Äi5:xJtkSJtxeager 

to become the st^reoty}Wd victim. Quite a few stmdents came from te^ 

less than affluent f amil ies^had to interupt tlieir studies every 

yiear to do m 

tary Service for months an end# I respected their 

, the hard-lieaded/Bernese realism. 

I liad beenwell prepared ixprHfaxkijcx for working with texts and prima 
ry sources and could bring jny^ — fui. ~i r^-^---— r^~r- — moder tT-^gtrrTrpg-any 

llj sf-nry unrnn 

nveny i 





wn mat ter-of -f at attitudes 

. ig -< r>nt i g M.n Öaas classicj^itiaxMHar '^1 philoloav 
and intellectual history t 

Tffitted well intn t-b^ r- u -• ^ 

xiii^o ciie bern style of 

intellectual work. 



Tliey neded data on tlie re-migration 

Plans of refugees. I indicated . 

Germany and Israel^Wr center^ ^tj^ 

^Jewisli Community service/ f--^. 
I responded/to a questionnaire developed by a social servce 

*^. II 11- 

1'kf 0S/\ ^CiJl 

Out OK <^ n^lCfÜT' 

agency for tlie Swiss Police Department in Bern#i«K:xlx:dKbQcx5©« 
but added emigration to the ÜNited States as an emerging 

clioice^ n 




« -C ^ 


II r I r iii iliimr/BJC ;!1L illULliu rtwrt' 

1^ coo cjsle H> 

• > it^/ 




j^a4t^ v^if 

' C lA I h 




' » 

Four montlis after I arrived I liad " telio aj) port 
to enrol in tlie uNiversity of Bern* f ol lowing intornmonb — i 
a^-^^-^rfcror ^ o am{» ^ Tlie univers ity waived its tuition fee, and 
a Student aid Organization in Geneva,Ä^iA#Ä**P'^Pi'WH t lie Swiss 

^Aid to Ref ugees" atgmmm^ offered small stipends^ 
funds liad probably been provided by tlie Ameri can-Jewis li 

Joint Distribution Committee then represdented in ?]urope 

by Morris Troper. 


New York accounting firm would 

audit tlie books of organizations I was connected witli for 

many years after tlie war. 

a foreign Pli.DpStuden 



w;»5$ > 

Status as iian interneffl civi 1 lan ! 



under polilce 

^^ \ O ^LU^ ^^^ 



a^iety of^ relat^vertis and^ friendslii 

a Vi 

i. >! i. c ± a u 

rid w.i€h 

ips wi 

' fei low re 

arid w.i€Ii 
^es^ii the Jewisli comgwrtiity of Bern, in wliose 

r^ligpQHsand cul tur^i^lif e L^-^ffook an active part. /> 

PH t of iil^ / (%M i/i^ f 

I never learned fc^f^ g^ÄcrSWiss-German dixJ:KKXXx»|txiSK^xMxx 

u^ed in city and^anton^^^n everi'^JhÄÄ: communication altlio ubli 

..the pulpitf^^jT 

noi: m wr.^*ring or\ on tlie stage. As I mov^rd-H^mong S#iss 



aily affairs I soon became aware tliatforf jTr&ia^bly 
blex reasons- "T di e l neb cxple^re conversing in high Ger; 

evem w-l t-h my South-German lilt, 

Yet, I had tlie good forfcune tliatwe Lotte and I - found a few 
Sjfi-STB fellow-stud ents and a few families, Jewisli and •, 
non-Jewisli, ^■iomxs}ii.Axisi&KkvaKx±x.±RnA&Ki.sxxX±±sxx we would 'excliange' 

ideac; jz • • J- OsA^<K. \/lf(i ^U,*w \?^ IV-Ä«*^ AZO/f ^ ' 

3tiSiMx du ring eui myulaj. v lax tt» -- rt ; o Swi te-a^&rll^td after 

a%- -b j. me t > » — *■ tt/^^ 

tiie wair uttt-i l^ - d G Qfcli -ittt^vene^> aitd-fetrair /liere liad^been exceptiona 

liuman beings among tlie refugee Community^ ejccjteptiionai 


ti¥— ae^v^^. 

^'Qlo^ i 

in^^rriendly and courteous^ w^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

rej^lso t kQQv c> rydQy --c6ntact:s you need fco make fco gp sliopping, 


work in fclie library, renfc a ro 


''^/{take a fcrip. 

-tuiy a book - a commercial culture of considerable self- 

assurance unruffled by tftf^ fcensions of war and fEi slirill 
polifcical propaganday^ tlie tense guardedness of ^ur non-Jewisli 
frends in Berl^in 

B tense guardedness of cfur 
' ^ I 1 ' 1 r I I I / pr yfif n r i 

m o r ni 

obviously was ready and eager to like all 


tliings Swiss and to excuse tlie rougli edges,tlie pettines , OMO* 

the inviduous comparisons 




r^ -C i-i ■! t 1 


I began to unbderstand some 


- — Swiss Germaa evenuday speecli, tlie Bernse form of 
Scliwvzerduetscli , tlie Allemanic German bliat developed intc/a 
languag^of its own at the fringes of t he Ancient German Empire 
lo^jver centur ies, like Dutcli at the other end of the Rhinex 
i^fUk'ü^CYcfii<'Wö"fc^^ ' not replaceofhigli German (the Saxon dialect of German 



y'canonized as "cÄrrect^ Sclirif tspraclie" , since tlie 16tli Century) 

in literature, serraons, or tlie stagej 

German-speakinh S!^i 

^SwTss^bi-lingual, g^liigli German being the more distant form to'be 

learned in scliool but not spoken even in tlie 
l.omes . 

most refined 


I came to regret tj^at I did not learn to spea 

tlie language ? 

'■ j \ . 

^" -.i. It would liave made oujf live^s 

considerably easier, and removed tlie psycliol ogical barriiers 
between Swiss and refugee, tlie victim wliose language claslied 
witli tlie complex emotions tliat formed t lie Image of Germany 
dur^ing World War Two and iJkx iHf:HrKiÄk±HH after 1945 in 
swiss opinion. SWiss German to me sounded more laryngal tlian , 



German but it was spoken in a slow and quiet way l. .^ -^ 

it., musical' .^ quality /^ |K'/" a^d set it apart fr om the 
staccato military co mmand language tliat liad prevailed in 
•Nazi Germany. (^"sriare?niie err§Pii8ܧ^MIs«JiiS»xtl^at aO-^dil-^"^ 
lect" need not ':'? be taken seriously any way , (^i^^p^i^^^i^ipB^p^^rt^i— i«rtfW|W: 


Still, I began to feel at liome in the high German spoken isy 
Äi: i n 
.: t'^z university lectures and Seminars, the unmistakable turns of 

phrases ÄHJä,the sen tence structures and the raoods expressed 

by SATZton and fill-in words and word combinations that expressed 

V J homely 

tiiye speakersmood or meaning and reprooduced Schwyzerduetsch 

fephrases. Cearly, reac tions to living in^ Nazi Berlin began 

to k&xx&±X&K^KA work themselves out in tliese attitudes : it seemed 

^S^^x ^^ ^^: itcthe language I had been unthinkingly liappy witli 

'/ at liome" began to share now in the friend-foe condition I 

had escaped, becarae an unconscious bu rden: how relaxing to listen 

to tlie cheerful -sounding Frencli in Lausanne *a C^fe Niederegger 

during the afternocDon cof f e-and-cake rusli^i^s^ of w^ell - /lipiuf^ArMv 
dig^^Hfr ed ui i a J 1 e - c 1 a SsJmid[^Te^=^g^^^l: ad-i^a-r-r^, / "^ ^^^ 





U(rj«l)Jillt co^ 


In early december, 19^3, I received a "one-term 
leave"from Lrabor Camp DSierre to enrol as a "full-time Student" 
in the Liberal Arts Division (Philosophische Faku«ltaet Eins) of Bwm 



:Vt— My-^t terg ): ^Ay 
rrom camp/^registeri 

The Semester had begun at the end of October, 

Dean Strich's formal admisssion 

letter had arrived in qood time^ but the agenecies granting the stipend t^ 

I needed took four weeks longer to straighten ou^ a bureaucratic tanqle I may havs 

caused inadvertently by applyin ^o two two funds at the same time ^^ Informin them 

of the fact: bnth had been funding their scholarship^^ programs for refuqee 

students from the same American source, the American Jewish Joint Distributoon 

Committee, that most benevolent symibol of American- Jewish philanthropy fsr 

for Jews in need around the qlobe. 39texiDorK It penetraTED MY MIND TFAT , once 

again,the disjointed Steps I had taken over a long period of 

time to deal with situations at hand had dovetaile d into a major new opportunity 

, a tum in my road I had not dared to anticipate only a short time earlier. 

Now in front of the goal the semester had begun without me ! ifeHKxxixaxxsjKHdx 

Finally, during one of t he last days of November, the European Fund in ASid of 

Students in Geneva informed me that I had been gra' nted a csNHxfcxsKDQ stipend 

of Swiss franc 75.00 for the Fall Term of 1943/44. I knew absolute ly nöthinmg of 

living expenses in Switzerland and gave it no thought : a f ew months earlier I had 

asked Lotte to marry me with all buil 300 francs in my pocket.VtocscsMi^xteHSS^sMx '' 



Switzerland ' s prison and camps, this was a new Step towards becoming what I was, 
shades of Pindar's floating incongruouslyu t hrough my mind, A few friends 
threw a farewell party for the "simpatico fellow in>emee", as they noted in 
the dedication in a water-color sketch they 

gave me as a Souvenir. 


^The nex t moming, Suess, the cainp directoi", inistätyed ^n my signing n^se 

out of the camp register as a sinall courtesy. 

and I was on my way. 






,^\ ir*'*'^ 

On November 30, 1943. T liad tlie last feaper 

in myy liands T needed to tiransfer out of cam Sierre. At tlie 
time, it liad riled me a good deal tliat tlie "bureaucra^w»" 
imposed sucli onerous conditions on meVacceptance by^ ^a Univeirsity 

. / 

as a matriculated füll -time degiree students . assurances of financialj 

Support for tlie first term, Fremdenpol izei - federal, cantonal, 

city - residence p ermits.;Tn liindsight, T marvel at the coincidenc 


Oi c. c.(j lif \/ 


ad the good will of so many peo ple T liad needed to 


is just a routine uder settled conditions 



secondary e'dacatxuon 


f;^?i/f#ftat lied been an obstacle courseJacess to higher education from 
the bottom of the heap , non-matricual ted , temporary, against the 
odds of Nazi measures and violence; ^a pennyless and paperless 

iÄS^kJcMMMXiSÄÄlcititx alien ( "Sclirif tenloser Auslaender" )y 


again at the bottom of the lieap 

h ^(/ 


o Baeck and the Hochschule 

faculty guidwatg me into curricular regularity over at least 

three years in Berlin, and urg 




me to enrol in t he Abi turklasse 

b^l 1 



[j-Q rJc^ /^ 

of the Jewish Gymnasium tliat would be closedia few weeks 




af ter 

Ifhad passed tlieir final examinations . Ernst Grumach W»o 

Ja d y w^ 

took the two certificates T now lia^ needed to be adnmdit t^d . / .( 
to a Swiss uliiversitW.ISre close f riend .y^Te" Swiss diplomat ' , 
rman ForeigTr-OffTcemessdlenger (Kurier) wi«r brouglit 


it to Switzerland while T still was m^r oaned in Berlin, 
Swiss law had. permitted relatively ^ff^ access to higher 
edecucation for qualified foreign students . The. federal law 
dated from 1931> "jrefugees" were expressly included in its 

benefits in the 1940s. The Federeal government in Bern, 

-2/ ■ 





concerned witli tlie financial burdens a 1 arger number 
o refugees would impose u pon tlie federal budqet,.liad 
early t-a^wö tlie SWiss Jewisli communi ty/\ f or / tlie upkeep 
of/ impoveris^lied Jewisli refugees. Swiss Jews, a minuscule 
Population of about 20/000 - 25,000 souls.lialf of wliom 
liliad tliemselves been foreign nationals in 1 939/ sliouldered 

tlie Obligation, an uusual practice in tlie liistory of inter- 

, . . . T. soiTK? already ^ . • u • 

national migration . For Atime ÄÄXiiÄXx,an Ä^^icA^ÄM Organization 

in internat ipnal Jewisli pliilant liropy^tlie American^^ 
..of considerai^le merit /xiksyi Jewisli Joint Distribution Commit 

,-r , proyided funds fig- , ^' 

Jiad ÜMMMSRxÄMxJeüMxMüiÄM^ixxx to an international student 

/ / 

aid Society,, tlie Federation EJfuro peen de SecoTurs aux 

etudiants . tojt assist Jewisli students in precise;y sich 


eme rgenmcies as liad occurred now. Swiss records speak 
of about 600 Jewisli student refugees supported in war- 


time.T liad been advised by A Mtr.Zayde, a F^olisli-Jew isli 

_nternational r 
r-whose base liaf 

international represen tative^ 


New Yoriv;\'' 

tlie Geneva 

f^arjs and Geneva, to contact tlie 

brancli of tlie^^Bffle rg c iJ b y Commit tee i- n Aid üI M xsii^KkSLS:s.ä 
Refugees. jt-^g fit-' d - t - Jl^ H |s -*^^^V'^/ 

Mme /iSI^lberschein, ^^s married to tlie representative of 4^ 
Aijewisli organizat ions at tlie League of Nab--©ions and well 
aware of problems faced by professi onals - my Hochschule 

and Berlin Gemeinde experience placed me between st.^udent 

nd professional . Mme . Silberschein s(a^ Lotte ^ad J s=gp ^ r e 1 1 -y Oi^cx 
.i dv i nr r l inr nT tfl I lir^ppfi Vo rnHrh—l -Hh tliat T did fall 


under tlie jurisidict ion of te Student Aid group/f'l^ö Swiss 

Jewisli Piefugee ifiid ( Schweizerische Israelitische FLuecht lingshil 

xM^i^x ^^.-^'-'prxr^riTse'6 to hel^^ ifmy stident Status would not-. 
bbe--r5?^crgCTzeds . • ' *^ ' ' ^ ' 

^'^' v^ ' ^ '»; H, !;;i» . r* 

would be called upon if my studies could not be financed 
witli Student aid funds. 


Tt testifies to my sense of vulnerabil ity 
tliat T remember tlie last weeks of my camp internment as 
atense and difficult time, even if it did not interfere witli 
tlie friendships tjiat liad been developing by tlien. Wlien T 
final ly signed myself out of tlie camp register, on tlie insisteii 
ce of tlie Lagerleiter wlio saw it as a recogniton of my standingj 
in the Community, my sense of anti cipation fused witli 
tinges of regret. My initial loneliness and my unliappiness abo| 
about our simple conditions and life in t he bariracks liad 

turned into msh£m±hssxxähM comraderi e and Community. 

We celebrated my relese in tlie ironic and ««ikixäÄHlcÄÄÄJliMaxx 

:feÄÄkiÄK aäd friendly fasliion in wliicli we liad expressed our 

mutual sympatliy. T treasure t he water-color one of our 

f el low-mterees , the German plitical r:e±ng:Q« ^''^^^ v\ii Saul , 

had given me to fix that mood in al ight-handed way. Tliat 

parts op-^l ^ _l/(^ ^ gA^öij^ 
Lotte and T wcTuI^ spend Y 25rsummers in the Valais, mountains 

near Brigue dur Lin g m i r - ; L.> ummur vauat türrs tou^hed ;d)til 1 snotli 

anotrlier layer of our Swiss exper ience. 

A. , Wlien T left camp Sierre on December 1/1943, 

T b o g an one of the liappiest periods of my life \ui.%-rr b-hcn 

Crossing the Swiss borders was not of my own free will. 

Switzerland was t here^ we had njj other j ^J^im ui^ choice. 

O ur at O (tu3 wq -s "Flueclit 1 in g " , refugee, not emigre/or immigrantl 
]/\(^(r = ' 

Ke became exiles, if the word is taken as being away from liome, 
until returni;i(V(Mw ould be possible. What tlie world would be li 




/| ^ ^ ^ 

like wlien tlie war ended, we 0-004:^004: imagine-T--arrd di^not try to| 

Lotte liad made two attempts t o ©Ä44H;:a^e and settle abroad, T 

liad triedAto rJKeaoli Palestine, tlie USA and England to settle 

:e pe/rmanently , or prepare mysellf f or ^ ^ for remigration 

to a country of final settlement (-England to Palestine). Coming| 

^O^s^cX suspend 

to SP^itzerland -a^i^^^d" us to xfifsxHxs tliis npinpi mr .pf questions 

tliat liad been so central to our lives in Germany . Be ing in 


M-^8TifM W^^ 

a ry w as uue o f ~ t \\ o r oaer o -n s 

^^^'tl^tetn T liad to answerla questionnaire about our ±M:k:KXß[X}öiaMx 

Plans for tlie post-war and post-Swi tzerland period^r T ^nsit^^iSjä 

^^ feiööfev ^itliout giving it ^Atliouglit 
-^rni*e MsSXftJciX tliat T expected tojgo back to Berlin and 

take up wliat T liad left - becoming a Judais t and liistorian and 
working for tlie Juedisclie Gemeind e. Tlie^ Alien Police of the- 

\A/ (^M^i'^^i ni'PQ^Tc) pro r^'^i^ 

Ps üirp J ) GpQrtm eiTt }>i:^pisrrr§& ^Jii^i ^oGuif^ ref ugees to leave as 
soo^^t^ts f- cfa sible , and wished to 

obtain Information about 
our goals. Tlie date was possibly tlie Fall of 1944 or tlie 
Spring of 1945. T asked to liave my questionnaire retui-ed to me 
once T understood tlie po liticval imp licati ons of my 
answer, and cliangedmye response. MY new goal would be tlie USA 
altliougli at tli}/{at early date before tlie end oftlie fighting, 
T liad no real ist ic basis for planning such a future. ^^r 
Palestine liad di^"sappear ed from our plans. 

My letters XHiä, several lectures i gave in evenin 
courses for adults in tlie Juedisclie Volkshochschule Bern,-- 




£xa>g: «renfa5 -f--tHM ^ ßn paper tTtrirraTdrf-y tl ij-a issu e j suggest several 

sUrainn -^ip^motives for tliis change/T A f ow week s Qftor ontcring 

S wi tz e rlan d ; — wW 

wa . S . still — in Rnpsspr;^nh, J ^r]cni2k jj^ l -i» r1rj.> f.i^. 


Soon after our arrival in Buesserach , T liad written Lotte that 



national ism - any national ism - liad become a suprmme 

danqer to our wostrld. Wliat we liad^ been tlirougli was tlie best 

example of 6*ie ^45rimevaT''qual ities yLt- wau uiileautrin^ . . Tn 

November 1944, a year later, in two lectures pti tlie adult ecucation 

divisison of tlie Bern Juedisclie Gemeindre, I located myself squarely 

in Jewisli group consciousness and its ^iiocil ■ rocei^ f ormy^Zionism and 

tlie settlement of Palestine, but had fallen back on the more inc^ueive 

iaeted« of the Vcultural Zionism and "universal Jewisli 

of my Hoclisac hule and youtli movement days. Kibbuz collectivism 

had paled as an ideal form of economic aND SOCIAL ORGanizat ion . .s 
'iPiie cultural and reliqious r^^np^w;^! \J^:^^ \iii^ f \^ ü [ , u>- r;^ , ri-7 — rwa in 
^ post -na tional ia fe world liÄCtteö Palestine a-s — — 'ccntor i^ energy 
anOAas a symbol of our group existence. Wliatever comjnunity service 
I would be able to do would have to be in close alliance with the 

^ J 

L^wv- e^f — fe-4'i e settlement <in 


1 e s t i n e . T>itg ^ eo n 1 1 i c L b e t w e e rr itryHmerea s-i-ng 1 y f -ixii^ t urii^ J:.o_ 
schoJLaxly.^wQrk and treachinq andwh^tn T| ppuld, Uope to accomplisii|^^^^^ 
i'f-'-^lflAqHr- Q t Q d kö Päd üs l lii^LjamlJbii r3:ii m- y ot->.t i a4i :^£xu" 7t4^ "personal '• ~r 
cp^e^: >fe*fe "National " Selbstverwi rklichung - sr ; Jf -real izat ion— , 

^ '« a 3 


'j/i^^ t/e \n(i 

fA ^^ 

_LU^- dilQmma ol — i-9-3«^ 

When T had crossed the frontier in JUne 1943 ixkÄd 
theu auphoria of having reached a safe haven - of having saved my lif 
life had been overwhelming. J'nternment in prison and camps did not 
reacli the emotional basis of my gratitude to a country that was 
tliere when the need was greatest. Tt set the tone for my perceptionj 

of the country about wliich T had long found it difficult 

toe tliink objectively altliougli, opf course/tlie liabit of 
critical ref lect ii)lonm reasserted itself as time went on and 
T understood tlie liuman and wsocial realities of its institions and 
its greatly diverse people better. As T write tliese lines at tlie 
end of 1997, my respect for Swiss inst it tutions and my sympatliy for 

tlie many good people T liad tlie privilege of meeting o ver the years 
lias not been dimislied by tlie often unf ^ ortunate def ensivenedss and 

its «iplomatic esta^b^l ishment and its financial classes. T liave 

drawn general conclusions from ' f\ 

not transferred tlie disappointment uith the low-b\cow frustrat lon- 

aggression-reac tion reported by travellers and tlie media tlireatening "war 

agaisnt^ a Jewisli conspiracy", inceased ant/^semiti c sentimenfes 

in retaliation for tlieir embarrassment about undeniable lapses of 

propriety, even decency or piain common sense bu^ine'^ss 

etliics during World War TT and after the war^ j know too much about 

the "businec'ss -as-uausl" attitudes ANT) BEHAVT OR of other Eutropeaiij 

government and interest groups towards the THird Reich to 

bureaucrats, or pol it ician_s7 Even 
Single out 55wiss bankers - (CUs\ T^\~Y' \it^^ 'jp^^^ flocuments 

Coming to liglit since the 1950s, before secrec y was lif ted on most 

by Swiss^^*-^^^^'^ ^^^^ academicians 
of^ them , and the numerous academic studies/of the period have 

C have beeii<> '»*> 
long pirepared the change in self-images honest citizeiTB^'-axjs^^cfon front 

new generations of Eujcrofepeans 
jw^i^i during the last few y ears/ andiRkÄXHÄkifiRÄxi OKiHißnkx 


ill have to liive with in t he new United Eur o pe . At the time. 

rexjJLQ. e e s,' 
T had only vague inklings of Bei-n's policies banning JewisliTfiront ier 

from claiming asylum and being sent back right at the front oier. 

Auf US V 
arxH^ in September 1942/ or from Bern 's complicity in stamping 

the passport s of Germa 

n(and former 56Austrij))an) Jews with th 

red letter "J" so that they fcous-ld be sent b ackj^ when they sought 



escape from persecution and deportation. T liad leairned long afte 
tlilT end of tlie war tliat of tlie official silence of tlie SWiss cab a tro 

establislimenfe '''Tfe tlie P^ed Gross or tliejacade^ic and bureaucratic 

elites, even of t lie respected liisbory teaclier at Bern IJniver soty 

ß' comparative 

yto wliom T owed a -f/r me entitrely new - 68fflp?SneA¥fve ubderstading 

of tlie po litical liistory of XMXHpsxx modern Europe^ "i iii i fci i 1 1 1 1 1 i i ( 

uionai hiscory , or tne piac e ot üö"ri;rian — lil e rüfauiu in w L lm wQ i r l d 

1 iherät üT g''"Of Cll^ Clds^biu dl pe r 1 od . 

But T did ^|ikno¥ of 

the religious, political, and civic organiza tions tliat 
protestfced 5)wiss po li cies tli^at pressured government leaders to 
ease or revise tlieir ^xclusionism even if tliey had to battle agsinst 

long-standing antisemitic strains in Swiss refmgee policies.( ee 
"LUdwig-Re^port" 1957/1962). 

/) T y . ov\A. 

The fact was tliat we saw ourselves as 


in a coubtry we had been foirced to enter without tlie paper s and 

permissions ^^ government required from Jews - as distinct from (i 

German ; • . 

ristians . We feit lucky and privileged tob -. eadmitted to a/?c3^c?of^W 

a pgjrversi ty /' tne total ly unai^nticipated stroke ^'Of luck immediately 

after our escape from the^fc^zi killing machine. /it all owed me to re 

redirßcl/i^yinterests and build my career on my Bern universjity e^du 

cvation and the Dir.phil. T manahgedto squeeze into tliree years of 

intense work. We were probably not more in exile tlian any foreign 

st udentSr On Matrch 24, 1944, 


tliat my personal commitment and my political values were 

clianging. Jewisli national ism -tlie liumanistic Zionism 

tliat li ad formed me in GeriTiany,i still considered a closer 

approximation to Jewisli group life tlian any otlier i 

expianation. ÄKJix±is:xxÄSx Zionist social and 

pol i t ical analyses 

/ T feit, avoided tlie apologetics and the def ensiveness of 

Jews wlio needed j(to deny tlieir liistorical ly conditioned 

"dif f erences" from tlie majo rity nations among wliom t hey lived. 

Tliat we survived tlie extreme tlir^eats to our livesduring tliose 
war years confirmed not only t^^ mutuality hliat r^nctitutci: feire 
1 gitDMim bond iiL.puj. il li lAiite bu4. i t^- rpa1lrrt>y in tlio Community 

bei«g— de^ri 

nd in ouT s pe r sona-f4 — lir>v e-e - and --e^- 

Tlte CO, ,umal cu; fcure that had formed mj' ^l--ife f rom^ the begi«n4n- 

My Judaism, A s T strove to document in tlie German cliapter of 
my memoirs, liad been sliaped by my orthodox environment amd 

the vitality of its TTmTnj anvcientmroots . Spite, Trot z, the 

e • ♦- 

pride and resentment of the "Negatiflvely privilged" v^fi Max 

Weber 's somewhat Heidelberg plirase, : fe^j c ic ' j? i^jcx ic^i^i JcxJfl lxx ^ ^ ^ ^ entered 
into it only wlien tlieir arrests and deportations reached into 

my family and destroyed the Jewish culture and society T had 

pwn . . rr^ 

made my i4Jßiej$xJtÄx:gÄl^itifci4xxg^ir Zionism connected us witli tlie 

World beyond the German border. The German- Jewish sense of 


being accepted,of co-existemce , even 4lie gve and take impilied 

they^mage of symbiosis, had become .?. cultural truth only in 

livesjlike my family 's an¥^my fayther's footed growth. ji^ 

tv ii Tiiing k o Zionism had expressed our seif -unders tanding in 
late 19tli Century lang uage Tt had st iffened our necks. Tt 
became our crisis "theology", as it were , fsecular f ormtilaliono o 

a sens 


VA^^^i^^^ l^^^"^- 

^.y^m i^^' 



cu\ O^''^ 

On december 1, 1943, I was reyeased from LaborCampp for 
Interees, Siders (5ierre).x " en^ter. Bern University 
and study' ^ fy\ tlie Pliilosopli<^sclie Fakultaet. I liad stamped 
my refugee passpprt t:lie evening before in tlie camp administartive] 
Office. It was my lasfoffi cial"act , I liad been drafted 
by tlie camp directopx to lielp witli clearical/cliores , and liad 

a^^^^xt-ed^ wi tli unfeighed regrets oveyT tlii^ promot^on ^/ 
a^waT — Iroitt tlie glorious outdoors and tlie reinvog^rt ing sun 

and win ds of a a crisp Valais FajLl.Tlie University liad 


all. Tlie University liad 
yf (^ijyum.i- I liade demonstrated 
ormally apporved my appl ication f^^i^ud^' . Jiig^xiiMxiE§XfiS[3iiK^xx| 

crTe''-pr8€4^i-f--^^ cer ificate (liiglischool diploma, 

. , .1 liad earned from . / . x 

Abiturzeugnis) AggJi^üxfeX tlie last Jewisli OBerscliule (Gymnasium) 

liolding üftä^l * lö o^^' ^^ITämint ton^ in war-time Berlin 

equally unusual I l^ad received 

in Marcli 1942, and tlie HXRfeMkiXxSiÄÄ mhx^mä certificate oj^xkkÄx 
from tlie Berlin O^ 

Hoclisacliule f u^ r _ d i.?„ ^ J^^ des Judentums ^ November 1940. 


C V 

L.. li^fti"-^ 

Small sclio larsliips from a Student aid orgnization located 
mn Geneva, and from tlie Zuericli Israelitische Flueclitl inqsliilf e 
would pay for food and lodgings for tlie term allowed me bj 

u - ^'t 

anotlier stamp I secured/^r. 

1^/ /^aiv. .1^11 mrir s 


llowed me by J 

B;, Ibe 

^IK^SS -^ 

.-i^ -tn Ber 

-^ "-- 4-orrir -h l'^a^^^^^^^ytjl^ m tlie ^^^ 



of f icebrovided for tlie release of refugees 

^M/ C(XA^ r^ 



for study at a 


lum GUffQgQrflC 

^liey \'JOM\ä.\\c\\/9\ 
leave tlie c ountry ^ ^ , -^- . Wiat I liad worked for 

IZ n(Kc\ '\ tQO^\ ve d \AA\jy \oca/ i-^ß^ * 

clityi J ÜUUÜJULLU LUlUUllPLU JiiillL 

Us.s university' ♦ ~-o<^-it-;^. ,^^.*- 

I I 


hui 111 

liad come true 

.. \« «« 


//■ u 

1 »J mh Ca: ^f /V /^> >; _^, 4I07. 


bsurdity of al 1. comcidences and near-fatal / '. .W 


tliat: I liad be 


and preserved 
en kept al ive^4i^5i^]iggii 

I ' 

4 y 

u n I: i 1 t: kixxMfiWÄH JtxxHxiiMÄxkaMxx 

äkxxxkM I arrived at: tli 


IS moment: in tirne 

^fparaplirase ^'tlie Hebrew benedict 

ITIV vonhh . 

of itiy yout:li 



productive and quietly liappyperiods in my 

1 i f e , i:xM»x8Äilkxi§Mixfi(HxiÄxii< 

andmy liferwe were marr^ed in civil^and religious ceremonies ^ 

Dr.pliil. iii July 1946ymy diss^t 

in Beriion Marcli 24,1944^/1 obtained a 



uld be pub^lislied in Aarau in 1948, after we liad embarl^ed for New 

York on September 26 


Genoa. ^^ ]^^d laughed and joked wibli Swiss 

and refugee friends a good deal, we had ifiMSkJ^xKX^KÄS^R^ÄxfeÄJ^kiÄÄx^ÄXx 

ÄiaisXÄXfeiÄRxkÄßÄiÄÄiiillÄxxÄMXXKKHSKXHixkxKiHr y X b e e n connected 


witli several networks ,Clirist/)an and Jewisli, refugee and Swiss, but 

we did not concern ourselves overly witli Swiss domestic politics 

even wlien I took 55^g^ ^.li m igj " courses in Swiss constitutio nal liistory. 

Sjtnce we t^ad entered tlie country iitfekl^tO , no major group of Jewisli refui 

V\C\(^ K ^OckxJ CK 1 J tvi / i, AOc; i^ '^^^'^^ 

gugees s- 


^'^requ^ted asylum except fugitives from j;he Italian 

turmoils connected witli Mussolini 's fall and tli4 Nazi take-over of 
liigsuccessor government/, ^^ ^^^^^ ^o influence on SWiss refugee poliiciel 
even after mid-1945 wlien international social servfice and m|ligration 

groups faced tlie emergSency created by tlie displacement of Jeqw returni 




• i 

^ y 

escapes I -*m#"^^iF^^Mn" 
I / 


1 '■^'^^^>- 


I. I did not see myself as a victim altli ougli my mourning 

would reacli my emotions 

acquaintaiices , 

my £> e 1 f 


\\ and pierce my denials: I liad 
witli t:lie lielp of friends and 

liad managed to preserve my loyal ties, my integrqr/y| 

f or 


tlie experience Switzerland would offerbeyond blie Iri 

and cityfecapes I liad q ^ njlLii..JU^-^J' '' 1 mp i « u i u 114» u £ , it iifade gratitude and 



respec t iiÄXiRä experiencesx 




32 months 

Ä äKkic ÄiaaxxaHÄ:^ abstract duties. 

eel ingj/torftli« sucli as tliese 

Bern universi fcy one of tlie most 

productive and quietly liappyperiods in my life, i:iS»xHÄiKkkiaiäxfifllxi:Äxfci 

andmy lifeiwe were marr^fed in ci^vil_,aiicl xel igious ceremonies 

ia Berijon 

Marcli 24,1944j»/i obtained a 

lil. \)\ July 1946ymy diss^fc 


would be pub^lislied in ^Aarau in 1948, after we had embar]/ed for New 


York on September 26 ^ Genoa . ^e liad laughed and joked witli Swiss m 

and refugee friends a good deal, we had laMgkJjx^lCÄKÄSÄRäÄxteÄJtJiiÄÄxiÄXx 

ÄiaiäXÄXlii$4HxkÄRÄiÄÄkiliÄxxÄMXXÄSHSKXia^xkixi:iaxy X b e e n connected 


witli several networlcsy Clirist/)an and Jewish, refugee and Swiss, but 

we did not concern ourselves overly witli Swiss domestic politics 

even wlien I took 

courses in Swiss constitutio nal liistory. 

S^nce we t^ad entered blie country i^a^^*4«3-7". no major group of Jewish refu( 
gugees < .,uii^ii> i L ei »i»i uf y i requgted asylum except fugitives from j;he Italian 
turmoils connected witli Mussolini 's fall and th4 Nazi talce-over of 
liigsuccessor government/. ^e had no influence on SWiss refugee poliiciei 
even after mid-1945 wlien international social serv|ice and m^ligration 

groups faced tlie emerg3ency created by tlie displacement of Jeqw returnil 


concentratyion camps or/f^om ftastern Europe 

IqC |'/l^^7 il^ fff-^f^O^ /^ 

? iii roiuiij (III 


In im tilie ^ 

nrari infn pngir 

»gyw^ ^jiuuiig 

R tiley' ' t^ 


»•■■^^'^^^^♦ww^'-ww***»«^ . Prio^ities sucli as tliese er 
creabed an^xiety amond Swiss government off icials until/ fcwo 


large transports of Jews to Palestine via Italy eased their iSHHKKXHx: 
fear thab Swiss refugees would -^^^-^^-^ ^^J ^ ^^^^: ._'^.^_^j'''^ 



^^ Min n r emuLf 

idst of/\issues toucliing on migrayöori p/olicy 


' we were remkinded bliat we liad been forfcunate fco be 
n in wm%4iÄ-f romtier cru, 

guards and customs' men were sti 11 

under Orders to refcurn Jews seeking xa^sj^yxlxHKixäx to escape tlie 
tlireat of /deportation ^ Our friend Rutli %asisnki sacceeded to 
find our Swiss address and wrote us ]io\>r Sonya Tofczke and slie 

1 I. 


1 adL-^- 

liad twice tried to cross tlie 
frontler between tlie Frencli Alsace and 
tlie Swiss C*n*wi jura, and were twice 

the sLond f^''' S^""^ ^^^^"^^ '''^ frontier aadv been cauahfc 

Germ^n ?K 1 '^ directly into fc he arms c^"^ ^" 

German front ler guards wlio delivered the 
to tlie Gestapo. 

. Rutil liad been 

sent to Ausficliwitz but survived miraculously. play ing the flute in th 
tlie camp orcliesfcra. Slie and Sonja Tobzke remained Heire o nly 
friends wlio liad been turned ove/^bo blieir worsb enemey , the^stapo. 
We had known in vague ways — debails and numbers liad been kepb 


secreb - bliaüfor raonblis before we liad arrived tlie ftronbier liad 
been closed and asylum denied bo Jewisli refugees . Nobody sA^m^^^^f^ 

/Oh -*-— 

tliam later, and the hope was tliat they would liave found slielter 




C rW W(w 


Swiss war-time policies receded 

of international 

blic/ attention and tlie 

ervice . 

A new SwiwSwS fund was set up witli government ( and private ?) 

contributions of sfr 100 tlie country's contributcion to 

Europe/^n about 1948, a recent study by a Swiss 

liistorian revealed , tlie professor I liad studied witli in Bern liad 

been asked by tlie federal government to advise on t lie publica tion 


oy^Swiss war-time government documents (of unsapecifie d pro- 

venance and Contents) and| liad counselle/d against it. Tlie study 
offers no insight into liis rjteasons/ THe project suggests 
disj^quiet among patxxJkiiSÄldecision-makers . 

Foreign POlicj 




J\ \\l\Af American liistorians äiÄÄiÄÄÄ^xiikÄJixiMxitSMxx fro 

ments on German Fo 

French, and 


d German 

I qi;<^ 


j*Q 0^ Foreign Office docum 


(A/-^/ f^ 




:^w docume 




. Swiss government ^officials liad entered into negotiatio 


)jV^^^ s witli Nazi of f icial s yand tlie German ambassador in Bern tliat: 





led to the infamous stamping of SKltÄan passport issued to Germa 


■4^ »--anü^ 'ftTnhrT'i 'aif^ 


witli a red|letter "J" (Jude), it 

ons not 

was tto al low SWiss frontier guards to idewtify pers 

eligible to enter the country witliout 

SWitzerland ytfelt overwlielmed by the panic flight of Austr 


Jews to Switzerland, in part lielped by Nazi Secret Poli 


i^an iSw 

ce agents 

to circumvent Swiss controls. (Until September 1,1939, about 
4ULJ)(^ ^^^/?<^/loo,ooo Jews would be terrorized into f 1 ight jf Austria ' s Eastern 


/neiglibors liad closed tlieir frontiers soon after tlie German inv 


sion on Mar! cli 12, IfgSS^Tlie disclosure of 



Swiss government Cooperation witli Nazi autliorities in wliat was 

now Seen as a blatant act of racial discrimination 

äx&K KHHxxHiSKrafeis attention of scliolars and tlie media in 
Switzerland and abroad, and led tlie Swiss parliament to commission 
a coompreliensive report on Swiss "Flueclit linsgpol i tik ,1933 
to 1957". It was autliored by a respected Swiss Jurist and ^ftjcieglc 
gove rnment official. Basel law profesor Carl Ludwig wlio inter- 
preted liis assignment as focussed on tlie axsKMJkixsx Federal Justice 
and Police Department and its Fremdsenpol izei , tlie 8M88J4iiitX8x 

agencies responsible for tUe execution of government pol icy .. 

received in H'S'J^^ 

The report was KiSMpiÄfcKdxxNxiaSXxby tlie Swiss pari i amen t/-^^ l>^^ 

publislied in füll by a commercial pblislier in 1966 and recognized 
UH 'y\Ax i fit uKul tili. ^^ balanced and objectiv^^^^ relat-*i«i§ government activities 


Ox^aJ. +• 7 ^o the perception of tlie officials resp;onsible 

-l^ N^vy 

evelo pment 

of Swiss policiy iiv tlie context of tlie 1i i iriiiiüij Nazi th^eaty 
(tlie persecution of Jews in Germany and occupied Europef and tlie 
4ltactions of SWiss government agencies^t 
tlie often desperate attempts by persecuted Jews to 


**«»*'^KÄ*""*H'W^^lnd seek admission to neutral 
Switzerland. Ludwig interspersed liis document 4 i ji!iuJm narrat ive 

witli KHHügkx iMMMir references to tlie controversies :fckÄJcxKxir±siäx 

eruptmg in parliament ^ijggxggg political parties and civic 

tlieme , 

and r eligious leaders. Tliey tend to support liis 

tlie persistent conflict among democratic forces4 in a societyy 

as open as it dared to be vis-a-vis tlie Nazi t lireat akiSMJfexx/ 

between tlie Swiss tradition of asylum |for politicala and religious 

persecutees and blie inberestsl c^P^^s- diver se^54cJt^f?^vwJ-^-^d^ 



national interest. 

^n Vv^v^oVei^ 'pcUi 




It appears from t lie report tliat basic policy liad been 
formulated before World War One and become law as national ism 


awS extended to populationj5 policiea, Tlie 1910 census liad 

sliown concenfcratoon of foreign nationals - Germans, Ifcalians, 

Frencli -in some frontier cities and Zuericli and liad led officials 

to forecast tliat lialf of tlie po pulation would be/toreign by 

1990 u nless existying trends were reversed. (Lu 57).THe ratio 

for tlie country at large was 14,7 % in 1910. A printed report submitt 

ted to the Bundesrat (Council of Ministers) on May 30,1914, 

liad used the term " IJeberf remd unq " - being swam^ped by foreigners- 

but was unableto recommend effective remedies: a subst.antial number 

of Swiss Citizens had^ emigrated f- 

economic opportuni ties 
and been protected by theirgovernment tlirougli reciti pr^cal/i treataies 

■ 1 • 

However , 


major e 1 emem t s of 

gaxKxrKMKKJkx Wwen rjutrisdiction sliifted from local>^ and cantonal 

■• authorities to the federal Police Department under the eme/rae 
emergencv^ ^ ^ 

/Taws passed in Worlc/war 0ne,they succeded to reverse the populatioyr 
trend.By the 1920s, Ueberf remdung ^^ö^ defined as "spiri tualXiSsi^fexg:^ 

compatibility of alien residents witli the Swiss spirit and beceme 
an il I f d a ig i nod rule 

in "defence " (Abwehr) - reduction and exclusion of 

a:±±BKX fore ign nationals. At tliat time, ?]astern JewislixiBwakigxaHicxxx 
refugees sekin/g lasxMixÄixHH to resiijlde permanent ly in the country 
we r e b r q ri ^d^^-^ais- "unassi milier bar"^-incapable of integration into 
swiss culture - and accused of fast (if legal) practices to frustra 
police prypupttljTüu tiiuiirg i iiLü in cahoot^with ^r4:XIT?^^ Swiss^or local 

tax authorities. 







On June 12/13, 1943, al-. around midniglit, 
I had the incredible luck of c rossing tlie "greeflM länd) 
frontier between the German State of Baden and tlie Swiss 
canton of Scliaff hausen . i i^ad travelled ythrougli police ( Gestapo) 
Controls witli fais^ papers - valid military and civilian 
identity papers but on assu med identti4ö - from Berlin to 
tli efrontier, staying overnight in Stuttgart wliere a colleague 
and friend joined me a day later for the trip to tlie frontier. 

We liad handed these papers to our invaluable passeu r , Herr 

19 r 

Hoeflef, when lie left us on a wooded knolloverlooking 

the frontier. Our crossing-the last stretclilacross a liigliway 

and open fi elds to a nose of wood jutimg into the field and 

marking Swi tzerland^was observed by a Swiss mil itary frontier 

guard, i*« carbine at the ready, who took us to tlie cantonal 


police officer (Herr Moesle) for transfer to the cantonal 
prison at Sc haffhausen. The federal govrnment apparefintly had 
granted us the Status of ^ ref ugee^ quite early: The S chweizeri sehe 
Bu ndesarchiv in Bern tliat gave me a ccess to the laa^HXxaix docu= 
ments contained in my file -and in Lotte' s file xrliom I w ouldmarry 
less tlien a year following our arrival - lias a copy of the 
applic a tion I filled out fora Swiss F Luechtslinqs aus weis dated 
only two days after my arrival. Bern must liave granted me asylum 
from early on- Following tliree füll days of interrogation 


olice officer Bruetsch-Maeder of thß^ CSntonal Police 

of Schaffhausen^ I was transfe^red to a reception center 


admniistered by th Swiss army at Buesserach, a small village 
in tlie n Orthern Jura mountains, ewscorted by another police 
officer, Wachtmeiste r (Coporal) Sturze negger^ wliere I would stay 

under military guard detail for anutr 

^by 1943, y 
/the Swiss 

It was our great good f ortune . tliat 

Ac^.,ia nf^\i.e.Ljcj ^«"s^ ^y^v^^ i^^l^'Xr "1J!5i [;Lv' 4v.V^^ ^' ""If^ 

-ha-d-^^5K? €i Q p t Q d tlie gruesoine information 


on t he Nazi mass murder of Jews in Eastern Europe as facts, 

im Switzerland liad 

inconce ivable at first hearing. Our 1- 



warned us that the letter of tlie law still offered front?ier police 
the Option ofd returning refugees back to "tlieir points of origin 
in Germany or France. The Fall and winter of 1942/1943 had seen 
numerous tragic refusals of asylum to illegal entrants fleeing 
, azi threats of deportation in Rolland Belgiiaum, and occupied as 

i V^''''^^ '^^"^"^ ^^ Vichy France. It had also seen numerousxÄÄfcÄxMxÄÄÄÄi^ÄJtÄJtij 
^» \.,^^i>n ^^'^^y*^^^^^^^ iHxis:aHKHx act of pla^n human fellowship and sympathy for 

a pl 

Euro p 

feHHH enti^ered gks coi*ee<äfvfe vocabularies only at about the 


ght wliose cruelty and dimensions liad liad no precedent in 

l^k ^^^° pean history - gHHHKiiäHxx the word ii:xs±£:jc genocide, hadxjaniy 

f /in /^ y\ w 



time we arri ved in Switzerland. Only a few months earlier. 

in February 1943, two young women-f riends of ours liad been returned 

fty Swiss frontier guards into tha hands of the Gestapo and sent 

to concentrationjcamps. Only one , Ruth Basisnki,by a near miracle 

survived Au schwitz - she was selected to play the record'^er in 

the camp orchestra. Her companion, a non-Jewish musician of most 

would be in 

unusual courage, dieliberately mu rdered ^^fc the noxiiSMxxx 

notorious women * s concentrajftion camp of Ravensbr ueck. 

That we 

were granted asylum, Lotte on May 2,1943 

and we laK MajcxiSxxiMäxxx in mid-June of t hat year, was first 


"Ver j udung" , 

liumanitar ian 
and foremost testimony to the vitality of Swissa traditions and 

its and its ' 

tlie ef f ectiveness of public opinion itzx democra^i'e insti- 

tutions. A well-balanced report commissisoned by tlie BUndesraet e 
(Ministerial Council) o f tlie Federal Government (bibl) does not 
hide tlie oft en grating Nazi-style language, tlie political com- 
promises, and tlie liarsli dilemmas tliat led decision-makers like 
pHl:±KHx federal police Chief Heinrich Rothmund or Justice ml nister 
Eduard von Steiger. poli cies many Swiss even aixfcksxi:±M under 
ty e pressure of feesbäb« la^Dou ttlie Nazi juggernaut surrounding tliem 

considered unworthy of tlieir country. THe taint of liostility 

O\0>^^'^^ *i Osat Juden coded as 

t^ liaving the land overrfun by Juden ( üesteTT ei c he r j^äM^ixixx 

OmA C^eA^i^e^ aJ\:^X^^J!l-^ ^ ^ alien Oi^ 

as un^ag§imilable^j^ nHÄKXKÄSfcÄlöiÄ competit i^oii 

xSxxxxxxx c 

in times of economic stringency ^iKi "f ooti ra:tioning-4n war ti 

ru. -t i W i^cMJi^^^^P^^ ideologues 

^^/i phe piirffh c^f^center-rightwing^ - 1 iberal = Konservativer Bue 

Lm|4 . 


block) - and ') bhe political- military-economic network of 

cantonal and federal civi/l servants and politicians is well i 
documented from official reports and files ^.-^Ä^ex^ks ^^ ^ ^ 
are th/^ÄÄMRfcÄXXÄÜiRg i nrii iiridwalo ; Ino te i bu fei e 110» relgr V ous and 



secular volunteers and tli^men and women tli, 

fiftXSlcxSxXxitSxiticSxx rnunf i»y who/formed my Image of wfcatxfckÄxiSifckx 
S^ÄRfcMXXxKiakJixkÄXÄxfeÄäMÄÄiskÄ^xfeÄxiifiJtkxS^ÄlIJSMXitxKÄiti^ authentic 

liberal values fumction in a modern industrial democracy. 

ide fro jT] j[]^jr ^^-j <-^-^>"y -^ rii> j r..^,,^ ^i ^^v 

f o 

ft LU UllUüürit' 



IMxitkitxikx Jiui 

•.' r^c.4. -j 4-p4.-i ^v^l^l o4-y^ 

iiliy my Lliiyy Jill juarji^ 

■g lld I ' ILLL ' Q Ll!J JUUmJilLL yiiliuL 




By mid-1943 the panic t liat appeared to have seized 

the SWiss Police Department had subsided. The flow of Jewisli 

refugees from Holland, and Belgium in mid-1942, the 
push of Jews from occupied France, followed by Jews 


from Vichy France, had greatly diminislied/^i letters we ,received 
in Berlin via uncensored mail from Switzerland in the Spring 
of 194| had reflected renewed confidence in an early defeat 
of Nazi Germany dfolloiwng th e Allied landing in Nortli 
Afrcpice, Stalingrad, and El Alamain, tlie visible turning p oints 


Tlie sense of danger iwaslied illiberal stereotypes to tlie surface 
in government documents and cantonal Communications, that r 

fears of be^^lng overrun by aliens tliat would never be integrated 

into Swiss culture^^ ..^jet^^^f j-ej^^^jf^g durch unassimilier bare 

A ' 

Elemente 'L-v/lio would eat Swiss food and liad toÖ be maintained 

in ^ SCARCITY ECONOMY of war rationing -»s%4^ disruptions (ß careerl 

aND BUSINESS .THROPUGH FREQUENT indurH o^ifi iiVf o the Citizens' army| 

And, of course, opiniori,^^media , KX^HrK re;ligi g>us and 

political power centers, the trade unions and the Social-Democraj 
crats ,members of the academic commu nity^ and scetions ofnEHe" 

"average Citizen population" fror^liom only scraps of impressions 
and observa^lions xmx^äkä wtTr"'$Tp3^''bef ore o ^inion polls made 


tWmates more reliable - it was influences emanatingf rom 

these broad groups that spilled ov er into tlie newspapers, the 

sermons, tlie paiflkJcKJfc, literature : SWiss responsible o^pinion 

was right in «^euLi'iiy t- ho worp t from Nazi ag groooioy i tl> a-t 

W 4>üt 4!^ ]=»g UfeM , Li »rmore brutal as defeat and retribution sj^LRi Jüd üherri 
in the face. FRequnt and universal call-ups tdisrupted >lall 

able-bodied men or women. 7fT ii k,; i xr^.^^ 

all aufji'ulw. w^-rr^ aware of the 


rf^\ XI 



uttered im Mazi Ger,many 
lurid ixkrxsÄixxÄMÄKx antisemitic t lireätsTfouling tlie airwaves 

and tlice media. By mid-1943 enough information had been publi shed 

or ru mored to outline the dimensi ons of tlie gxsai mass murders 

and äicÄöllcötäick anci end for good whatever residues may liave 
lingered of the appeals to racism or nationalism tliat liad 
made some inrads in the 1930s. Swiss policy makers would hh^ 
have been derelict in their constitutional duties if they had 
not planned for extreme t hreats and vcontingencies . Swiss industy 
bent under oressure and pro duced weapons ,like tlie liiglily r egard 
88 ti-aircraft gun wliich had also been produced in Sweden. 
There is no reliable metliod to prove that Nazi Germany was 
abstained from invading t he country in 1940 and at later* 

turning points ä5xXR15 because tlie Sxix Swiss Federal government, 

internal ^©fe$©&v communication 
tlie Bundesrat, had avoided what one Sfcument called the Ver judun« 

of t he country. ( SxixxxajaiiÄSSÄMHxx Woermann, Director,M Politiscl 

tische Abteilung ,ä^,A.A., report on iSHMMHKbxKÄiiiHHXx meeti 


with Swiss ambassador August 10,1938. Aktenzur Deutschen Auswaerti 
togen Politik 1918 - 1945, D,V,1958, Nr . 642 . ) . similar language in 
communi(?ations originalTng^wifeh^^^filinrich Rothmund, Director of th. 

representing B 

the Polizeiabtei lung (PA) goes far in justtfying the regret of 

^^^ . . , Guido öi-xBiei/ 

oT a patrliament ariam ( Dr.Mueller, Nationalrat/^ 1 

that "neu.5«^./^ 

deutsche ideas "had cro pped u p in several depar tments of t he 

federal executive (administratf ion) "^lslll|cfc§S6§P^ ,?|38 , L'^udwi 
137) • 


^ C ^ cl-l^ ^* ^' /V^ u • /^ 

SINce vol.V of Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918 - 

1945 had revealed the involvement of tlie Swiss diplomatic 

represeentation m Berlin and the Ju stiz-und Polizei-Department 

(PA) under Heinric;:h Rotlimund in prop osing or accepting the 

German stamping of the passports öf Jewisli emigres witli thye 

notorious red lettrer "J" in October 1938, , SwiSwS government 
hav e become a sub lect of inte rnal debate. /^ 

cies toward^^ra^nting asylum^to Jews/g^-^ /cholars and the 

media liave scrutinized tlie record,and the Bu^ndesra t (executive) 
commiswsioned ,a-a fully documented study of Swiss f if 9§i^ iPÄÜöi ^ 

(K respected and independent cantonal officia^ The judgment on t li 
indicputQblyd e eumeiiLc^d hluUuij i ug oUloo laoUi ' igLluuiam b ü^^.iu :ii» 

e— i-i 

icnjgjeHHHJtJihiaieLlimayiJ lliU 

r will forever vary. 

9^^ the weiglit one gives to the values and perce ptions 
of ^süte aKiHxrxxxMxx decision-maters and the pressures aisixHgxx 
HHaHdxjap±:±Hiisxacting upon them/ D^^^^^iw tlie time f rame nTm ad ml 
e^ Oiie's judgment/ and the comparati^te- ajcxL inlCHxxkiiskxx one is 
willing to d^aw ^ the policies of most other governments 

' WOB ^ ' fe 

at the time. 

Tlie entrire complex of government po licies 
may gain more balance if lield against the rescue and assistance 
given by largts Segments of Swis society, from university professo 
day laborer, torefugees tliey met in person. 

Wlien tlie fHird Reicli began, Swiss policies bowa rds 

polibical emigres and persecufcees seeking enfcry in response 

to racial persecution re5=5fetri^öd liistoricl ines : fcHe government 


perceived tlie country as small - about 5.5 million residents - 

and b lius of limibed absorpbive capaciby for ref ugees 'e^>e^ciaJU^y- 

Jbs O^'hsC^M k/t!^ 
2«5 niipj 01/ unem ployijienb kaä sliould nob be aggravabed , yior new 

compebi bion cre abed for ibs pro fessional and commercial classes. 

a limibed number of 
liveliliood and 

In obedience bo ibs nabional eblios 

emigres would eh admibbed if t^?tr iiveiinood and Wio^r remigrabion 
would be KSKMXsä assured. Tlie Swiss Federabion of Israel ibe Congra^ 
gabions (Scliv/eizer Israel ibisclier Gemeindebund) declared ibself r^ 

ready bo 
,^1v^üld' "&e 

E »>*>J/q 


supporb indigenb refugees and emergency cases Jyfiibudenbs 
)er mibbed bo conbinu e blieir sbudies if bliey süfajaiiiLsäxxx 

disposed xprsH^x of blie necessary meansyand re-migrabed following 

a vocal se 


LikerOblier democracies in blie 1930s, 

nb Qf--^-^ 

civic socieby - volunbary aid associabionsy blie cliurclies, la)5or 

, JtJ^e vi gor aus press-xV^^ 
äli» organizabions. aiÄä Qörb-irxij^rar po^ organizabions and 

supporbedi^fc Immanibarian inberprebabions of :8:Kö nabional 

and securiby . -f liolding 

Inberesbs - ^4«Ö« thecenber-riglib par bies ^katxkKiä power during 

blio se years favored a more "prudenb mix" of bliese percepbions 






as a fascisb polibical group - VaberlaendisrlipFronb - moublied Nazi 

±he^ijr^i pft^tiü/ builfc up an "AÜsTäiTdsorq an i sa bl on /^ 

verbiage . <; 




er a gauleiber wliö^-^rais- irfurdered by a ^ixXQCXKgkX Jewish sbudenb 

U^i^tv^/^f j neaabivp 
Emmxmi^m»^, David Frankfurber. in 1 9 36 .^trriTiJibe of\m sbereo- 

jka li^l'in ^h^\ typical Images o f J ews^. <^j pZ : c i a 1 J ) ' " ü L b j ü' i! i» ii ■■ f - 

i4t---e-€^n4;^Jiipi:ü::ai ^ iTiP . nt: --d^^ ume rr b a t^i-e^^ , a n d yi I-ochIt- a ^:d~^TOi^i-ee 

^6^^ ^O^^^f^^ 

b4trnlH: ng ai id-a4;UJuig% neubral Swibzerland liad given bemporary refuge 

b(/a varieby of persecubed polibical figures, 

scliolars, arbjsbs 


Dear Herr Bundespraesident V iilliger, 

On May 7, 1945, you addressed a jp nt; Session of tlie 
two liouses of tlie Swiss parliament t:o commemorate tlie 
£ iffcietli arm iversay of tlie end of World War Two. You 
cite tliose eminently Swiss virtues "gratitude, m odesty, 

respect, restraint , Ifef lecfcion" bo explain your purose, 

r QA A 

asjj'ou ^a^tm^tttrsli \:rirB=sssi&mb:h^4 parliament to lionor tlie dead, 

among tliem tlie millions of Jews and otlier persecutees murdrede 


by tlie TH(Ärd Reich. You mince no words in pointing to its 
iT^dexons patli and "tlie high price it exacted from liumanity, 
and to tlie sacri fices al the AI l(yieSy. \bro ugh b ■ t -o forced/tlie 


dictator to liis knees. Switzerland, you said, Sifi 

was spared invasion and occupation because the eneray realized 

that "invasiOn and occupation would extract a high price-^ Arme^ 

neutral ity and iäsre fortifiad territory Ato- it^ Q conq -a^l j^rG d 

allowed jOc'^^^^"^ ^^ ' 

gxxe gwiorc military and i fcipyTil defence measures JtkÄxxiöÄÄÄifeiiiJjjt 

to mix resistance witli flexibility - Anpassung - and 
iß>i&^re as a baSTIOn of democracy : the steadf astness pf the 
Swiss people , "its spiritual-moral strength enabjed the bmiAy-t-^ 
^ even while -i^ ^vfAiS enci^rcled by the total itarians. to resist 
their blandishments and create the political alliance of 
left and buer qer liehe forces tfliat created the civil society 
of the postif-war world. 

'Flexibility - Anpassung - however, you con- 
tinue, "naturally forced concessions on Switzerlandi" in financ 

lal and political diplomacy, in economic 

a«iT^*«=*:^ÄeÄS. tu "- Sg rlgEgs^ 


■awä- producing war materiel for Germany, in cen soringkhe a 
press tliat continued fco call a spade a a spade wliile tlie 
govermnent was afraid fco provoke Berlin. Freedom of opinion 
remained a pillar of Swiss democracy. 

I • 

You do re flect, tlie 



civil servant ever arfciculated 4Ä%|^J£4iy) 



bliQ bQlQnQ6 tacLwec^ n nat ional interj^ 

\Aj CK 

f^t-i 1/^jf 

HÄ:fc±aMaix democratric and liumane va 

after tlie eve 


ach in 




sifcuations need not defceriorate infco M^^day-morning quarterbacking 

fco use the American plirase 

You spek of fc]ir:^i^guilt fclie country 1 

las incurred 


wlien "here feH§fex one feil 

over one ' s feefc fco 

please tlie fclireateneing( sclireckl iclien) neiglibor . r. Ifcli 

ere were 

few options). .some acted witli determination, generosity and 

conformed and 

ourage, othedps / wi tli sraal Imindedness/J harshness ää^x. Tliis m 
tft b e jrf-Ywtfa^cfi i « our perception of liistory.gü* ^li told/xjcxi 
generati9n,j6 ko»-4fe owe itkHHk sy hhx gratitudailef t s significai 


s generati9nl.,fikffl»-4fe owe__kkHH)csx hhx grati tudWlef t s significant 

— — •— // \ 

positive record. ..." ^ ^ 

u^,... o j ■ ■, ^ good intenstions 

Herr Bundespraesident , I re^^ect your xncjuackiSiSJig^BaQSc 

vin speaking out about an issue tli^>^s pre-occ^upiedpiistorians 
putal i cisrs-i.u,^our country^r many years.My s IÄXmI ZS knowledd 
of Swiss liistory aii^'- ^jUrqescliiclite /ioes not entitle me to 
MisrKxlskHKXHHXBiiiiiiai^Kf a judgm^nTr-r^Jgalanced or partisan. I 
am, in fact,^ ^dfassed and partisan: 1 1 1 i s ^mömair kHiixxxBjcxxx 

ia£ recordsXlie reasons: the steadfast ness of tlie ^Wi-»s people 

}iad 4|^ ^\ 

iMxXM«jt«Xxl;aJt2x persuaded government of tlie day in 1 942/1 9~ 

The guilt ypu speak of liere is tlie political and 

maintaining cuvijity wibli 
moral guilt of aol laborat ion witli a regime tlie world lias since 

recognized as evil incarnate. it is easily balanced by tlie 
many wlio never wavered in their religious and moral certainty 
about tlie Nazis regime, by tlie xk^ls-XKr^x^krI role tlie country had 
pjayed as a host country to numerous ecumenical efforts, 
social and medical Services agencies, as a aiplomaticxXÄKXÄÄÄÄxxx 
JiÄJiiXÄxiÄXx link between bei 1 igerents , a listening post in enemy 
territo ry . Lack of principle, genuflection before force, 
servility in tlie belief of placating tlie aggressor -- wlio would 
be tliere who would liear tlie confessions and grant absolution ? 

Tlie"sliadow you speak of before turning to the lessons fori 


Pö'oJ OW ^^^) 

VffA ^ pO.>^ 






the several agenfies concerned, they had received American-Jewi 
money as the emertgencyAdeepened . My letters of October/No 
vefi^lber 1943 from Sierre to Lotte ref(^lect some yout,ful self- 


dramat^ization and impatience, but also teil of t^«— iRKXÄÄÄiRS 

waji-s— i-'eetrird-Hje useful J;^- others. They do not speak of 
our style of life in camp,of nui^ances and annoyances, and 

VV\ W. 

t • 

the immense contrdibution. to ,ai^ balance and ,-9^^ equanimity: 
It was neither t^he first nor the last/ time in my life that 
I feit the liberating and distancing effect of Eastern-Jewish 
irony, humorous self-dep(>recation, satiric defences against 
the arrogance of power in t he hands of small men, the 
staf f-seargent style of the ^^agerleiter , the rabbi from ^ 
town at Lakfea *ff^neva who spent 2 hours with us to dio^jonoc // 
meaningless . distant eerrcHrtif the apparent futility of our 
ao-called contri bution to Swiss war-time food supply: lO^/C^yj 
it^ritfrirf cjlater^ I visited the spot where my collleagues and 
I uprooted willow tree-stumps in the all|luvial sa 


The F^irewood we had cut -^^ irthe mountain had läiiide ^ä^ in '/5 "^ 

the Rhone river, and saw no sign of cultivation there. 

täiiidfi ^ä^ in *^ 

horse-drawn carriage^ tlliy^^^^^^ n l y\ o bT^ ii lo;:cal innkeeper ^ J.A- 
-a^ft^ lhope#-ö^^i4 warmed Swiss tipplers in his roomy 
Gastaiibe already warmed from within by the^locs^ kai»t 

' #- 

merr.iy-making disapprty vQd by the Swioo — i-a-d-irea — t ompG jt r>^t^^cgL. so 
^Ötri^t^/. I did not believe any of th^le letters J. Com^posed for 
my fellowÄ internees effected their release from camp any earli 
ier a Irttrattgti I >4Jjcg :^§ fancy that the language courses I 


taught with others underYoung Me 

n's Chrtistrdlan Associatio 


auspices ( YMC^) 

lu li< ({lti^J( 


may have done ;^¥e small good i-4-«ua ^i^r] c'^n'^iWnn por — 
ffi*^f¥ta-. I was proud of myself t^^^Sl^Lci^g^gggjJiJ^g^ (w|/(, 
xSSxSSiXx spefd up the Office routioni 


in foräarding letters 



ft?o«^diiip LiUbaiaeiiLy to Relatives or acquain'Ktances - sNj^ometin 


: /s^trangers/ - i^ ^ which thoy askggf for heijp in 

I ^\}^^^eX L^^/i/ ^wx ^sA^trangersy - i^a- 
iJ /l^i^ ly «^C-/ ^^o^ Sierre.It all fi6t 




ted my belief that 


^n^ t hat 

^5 . \3 

:ä not lived ra^=B worthless, youth movement and Hochschule rolleed 
into onepSlowly, loose groups of men with similar interests 

or attitudes( "ch^aracter" ^) met an^ debated inyane h 


the ciyrrent events musings that would end a day's religious 

study -learning - in Pl 

^ shul s /^ praye;|i(r and l-ea^ 


f^t^ roomä^^l- Li 

Eastern European 
ke the rest, Iwas 

happy to receive mail, overseas emigres slowly coming into 
focus. Nothmg from our friends in Q ^rman y, as if t hey had been 
swallowed by W a^s^t None of our fellow inmates spoke about 

the Nazi mass murder that might have enäädtheir li 


d-epoirfe'e^. The mass ciculation Swois newspapers or po litical weekliel 

we had availableto us reported nothin^ I?Qj the persecut^o/^ of the 

Jews except sme short dry notes and vague allusions. The friends I 

had* made and the colleagues I talked to saw ¥hat~^-«^^^-r— bot>f 

her ^ 
Höfeö^tey^ could^imagämen the death of European Jewry. 



The mood of my f ellow-internees in Sierre waxed and 
aned with the news bulletins we received over the dining 

hall loudspeaker ^very day at 12: 30. p/m. As I heard it, and 
as Ludiwg Ilse and others heard it in Lausanne , everything pointed 

utiful YalPiis, 

to an eaely end of t he war in that 



r/fall of 1943. Our expectations rose and sharpened cur 

impatience with our 

immobnlity, with camp discipline. 

naJ I/xvn" fl*«^ c^p^few and the insensitive Laqerleitung . ^ cannot reconstruct 
^O J^utJ:; jiUji Uo^Jl the Swings h£ in our moodsZ^T suspect that everybody lived 

C Oyuu^ U 




in his own time-zone of expectations, e^i^^s^S^^ hopes: 
(i^g» andüisappointments overrroifte. I believe that nobody 
had clear notions about how things would b«we changed 


ft-Vthe-y retu rnecT home .öjb: pastsixxxsxs 

&\^ Virtual 


futures. Expectations were a function of/^di spositionx. I seemed 
to observe that my French-Belgian comr ades, immigrants or 

childen of immigrants from Eastern E urope, tended to color 

Picture , // 

the _ .tu.\^ with darker hues thafT^ I - the "oral masochism 

psychoogical tests ^ ^ r ^ . « ^< °> n21 ' 1i qL" Q u p > In New York would d4-s€F**OÄ^ e^ 

for Eastern-Jewish survivors in the late 1940s in New York. 

It may well have shaped the "general mood" in Internment camps 

like Sierre. Swiss documents reveal thatin the Spring Of 

1944 frictions er upted into brawls in several labor camps 

including ours.They pitted inmates against villageor small-town 

rowdies. Reports on the restlessness of internees had fe- e a che dl ^ 


the Zentralleit^ "derA Arbeitslager as early as the Fall of /943 

My copious lettervto Lotte written from camp during this 

period have survived. They 


e-Snt ^t^et^c^ .£^Ll±J.i?he numerous 




Co nV/v^^ 
being intd^rnod T 

lacking privacy,^ ^ a primitive conditions in personal 


hygiene ^^iutt' fW^ being depend ent on a ±HssxikaKxsKHS±^ixKX cheer- 

fuyjiy insensitive Lagerleiter .WHat helped me overcome dejection 

besides my temperament was of course my grow^ig upjin Nazi Germany: 

I was used to discount a miserable presentt fceing immersed in histor 

of ideas, religion or ancient ph ilosophy offered a larger time 

f rame and centered ysM attentiuon away from the fae%s that 

losely. TIffe jiabits thaL h a d form od d ofonc os 



ever morec 

pQ4rsist(=>d /S I do g ? e ouroc ^not s uggest that the situations were 

at all comparable. Now my t-i4»e — f ramo wa-g— oontdirGd dn the prospect 

of attending a university while the memory of our pa rents and relati] 

tives, friends andacquaintances, teachers and Jewish leaders 

was slipping into t he dull twilight of mourning - a dull "sadness'| 

lodged below y««^ daylight thoughts and emotions about their 

whereabouts since we had been separated^Lotte and I knew 

1 L 1 L w i 04i each ot her 's feelings and memories, we had many ways of 

subtle Support for each other - but my spite t they will noti ^contro 

fo öU(?vc^^ w^^^on/JI >oWy^ 

my life,my emotions ^^ ri^^^^^^iny relationships to others Äöd=±iie 
a ^titudtyc" of omrcrrs Lu iiib! rested on my pride, I had come through 
without being forced to becomßÄe "untrue to ^ own seif" JHr,to 
betray a sin gle pKxxsiaK person, friend or bystander, Jew or 
Christian^ I became allerg ic to being pitied long ijlbefor^^ 
I accepted the depth of our losses as final, ^slx^hxxhk:^: When the 
language turned to calling us Nazi victims, I bridled at the 
distortions this introduced into human relatiikons, th e patronage 
it implied, the condescension, even the personal guilt -a: 

distilled from collecti 

^^ crimes or bystanderism. 


o£ -«hl oh ho öft4^- Itne^f-bÄX-eX.jc- a-tvd-— »> ■ mu- --r d eroug regime- -he-"ha*-"f2r±±en 
' f OT Vithout repri^vef As my life in close contact with oth 


came to an end , my th^ughts and feelings appeared to coalesce 
into "character", as I wou^ld have phrsed it at the time. But how 
would thie "Charakter" stand up to the ^^ 3 I ih u u y hL - i«r4«x ^ß^r- 
worldl was eager to enter now ? 

ixfeHÜHXHfAt the end of November 1943, the last paper I 
I had needed to leave camp behind had arrived, the dream 
that had immunizade me against the ±K&x±^RhXf reduced life 
that had been mine slnce i had fled across the 
frntier was becomin reality. 






()«'ollll flW/'«» 

■ 1 

In avember 1943, blie permitsfl needed to l^ve campSierr^ 


and enter Bern University had ba^n fullliiy 1 
liad %^-fi4^ permissic^in to enroll on 

. Tlie /acuity 
Dean gtricli's recoramendat ionj 
I received small stipends from , social Service agencies 
in Geneva and Zuericli, Tlie Police Department released me 
from internment in camp sierre and staraped my refugee ident ifica- 
tion pape^to certify my contc/inued Status as^iternee 1 1 lowed 
for one term, 1943/1944, to study at the ^lilosophiocal Faculty 
of tlie university of Berng U^ ^Ü'li'ot allowed to rent an aprtment 
in the tight apartment market of the city, a contingency I was 

hardly in a^positiopn to take advantage of i f /.i'SltSlISxi^iy"'^'^*-'^^ " 

I received 

Four months >^.^lWmy arrivalyf anötli^r stamp jS^l^^ police 
permission to study "until further not ice". City and university 
would become home for^almost t hree years i needed to complete 


course-and serainarwork for.a Dr .phil. axä write a doctoral 
tliesis, ^p^twritten and oral exaT)mnation,]def end tlie tliesis 
"in public"^ and demonstrate proficiency in one major 

and two minor su bie et«? m'.>„ • 

ijje cco. Tiie st atus of a federal "Internee" 

turned out to easy to bear. It obligated me to leave the country 

after completing my studies. Travel was restricted subject to 

Police per^mission. Once a' week the Cantonal Police Department 

(in Aarberggasse or ZeughAUSGASSE near the main railroad Station) 

had to be visited for a signature ont heirroster of internees 

i I 

My Identification paper indicates^by a few more staraps that I had« 
'been issued coupons for ratöned food and sugar needed to conserve 
fruit or vegetables over the winter - one of my land^adies probably 
asked for this slight (brregul ari ty , rewarded by some canned fruit 
later on. Tlie pape/.r also is sta>mped witli the addresses of the / 


furnislied rooms I occu nied bphw-P^^n i qaa ^r.^ lo/i^ -1.1 

v^^^-u p±tiu Deci^reen 1^44 and 1946 - neitlier I nor 

^--o-4^a v P h^o n awaro g ^ ^]ien I arrived tliat 

my landlady app^- 

I needed a stamp ro rent a roomäfin ''^^^ 

attic room tliat 
coul^d^not be heated during this first winfcer of getting acquainbed 

ng Voralpine winters of my 

(tlie ratlier damp and borie-cliilli 
new liome. 

I left camp Sierre witli some 


Of regreb. They quickly disappeared once tlie train liad KK^^Kd^ä 
ikakx left the Rlione valley and headed nortH. A fe llow internee 
in my work detail, a political exile häMKBxSk«* and professional 
caricatur^ist named Saul Ijad presented me witli a watercolor 

ense of my relations to fellow internees across cultu/ral barrier 

Like the rest I carped at the moiytonous food, the lack of 

j. yflarailiarity 

creature com^ort, the enforced ^lcass«Kaa:ac with people you did not 

*hoose to live witli, that closply. fclie confineinent, tlia insensit*itv 
- why did these annoyances hÄIh^i, touch me(»m i.^„i.moui.,L.U 1^ ^ 






) Vi\ p«^v^m^ 





I began to see bhafc tlie introvert's disfcance to lai«=Ösurroundings 

had not been dictated by persecution in Nazi Germany only - 
tliat it riow functioned so well in frirntfcjjiTffl tro— icoop my hR)Rnr;QS 

suggesfced a continuity. I liad no gift: for self-pity and did 

not fall to complaining about jfi miserable reaLITY - was it 

' s 
tlieyoutli group leader, the boyscout's, tlie counselor's, tlie 

^XX5^XXÄäxkÄteiJtxÄ:fex liavingT-been-rconditioned to asser t your 

^ A 

World against tlie Nazis, to act ratlier tlian suffer ? Sierre, 


le frirst 

free Community - free, tliat is, of tlie deadly t lireat 

of a murderous governmentyia camp but in a free society feliat 

was run by rules tliat to me were far from oppresive Sierra 

. :kkÄit exilles speak pr write about 
convmced me tliat tlie suffering sxpKxxl^KKSÄxxxxÄXXiÄxxXÄrÄxxx 

jasxKKXHXsiä feÄiÄMäxfcÄxJtkÄx were real/in the pains t4tey c ^&aip^d ^' ) 

cause d±RXE[iixx}asKkEXc^^*y jlow we endured tliese pains was 

a fuifctjon e^ at)titudes acquired long before we had to gg jissbo»^ 


My sentimental tinges were summaries of many good hours of 

personal liappiness, y0^y]_^ 
friendship and Service, of four montlis o f /yifrri^ t ti nr a a n d landscape, 

of tlie end of threats to survival,of 

rrfrftfir yfsm ijigi[iiiii>L iJUiny 

reality witliin 

p ersona tlia^ 

, Growing into freedom 

nftAer con^srain(^- f rom wi 


out. I did not know about emigrat ion, exile, or accul turatiopn 
then, terms tliat would pre-occupy some of my researcli world many 
yearslater. iHx^kHxmiMKlcxia^xx Tliis was exile, not immigrat ion. 
My commitment to t^iSB Jewisli v^t^g i had given me a sense of 
contiuity tliat breaks like pe ra o cution , forced labor. 



liiding un derground, a ^. ü umu d ind g n L i L y^ flight, prison, quaranfajn 
l^ .jigi^f> labor camp could jtpe^only tliat mucli . 

1 \ t 1/ touch 



Tlie KfiKÄtikMÄKk mood t liat framed my perceptions and my 

active life in Swifczerland did not sustain tlie liigli, tlie 

// ^ 

euplioria, tliat liad overcome me wlien my feelings understood tliat 

liad saved ^ 1 i |^ aHäxHKXxixxKSXx t liat we liad been saved from 



ul timate catasbroplie^ ß^xRMxxxxMx 


^^ ■»'N ^H 

AiHik»i^U^^Hi«^4HM«^i . Wliat remalned was an almost i^u 

sense of well-being, of sympatliy . of discovering people and tliings 

,-"^iaTure7~TiTätory , ^imI culture. I was gratef ul , to be sure, tliat 

Switzerland liad been tliere wlien I needed it, but beyond tliis 

passive feeling bhe 


ressures of my German beginnings liad 


iven way to a sense of autonomy ,oi:xx s^arting a new life of 

my own clioice • 

and -^smaller Jewisli and refugee Community 

s o^^Ä: y uifou l d trust implicitely , 

0\Mck AA4^ ,m^^y -fvA/v 


k.7 Ü7 VA 


tlie Swiss" witli 

/Wi' «m ima^e of Switzerland and 

creasesy ^W* ^^ 
^ warts and gi:ÄiäÄ,i|pett iness and inviduousness 

bred by close spatial proximity and strained economic circumstnces . 

B^^ «'^t 'fe 

my tli 

Ml enougli Swiss men and 
to last tlirougli tliree decadesof post-war vacationtrips 

to our favorite sliangri-la i^^trea 

ts - in Bern, g^Lake Geneva , 

/lin fefie^^aYais.«^ in tlie ?:ngadin . (Te never wanted to b^^me SWiss as 

n/^(^ '^ f • /"ix^ iJu r<?^/ 

we -4«t^ be^come New Yorkeijtfnd AmericaNS mäfy=%a=^jEe==:§iyj^^ 

- t3 xpre§ -»4a^i--%<» our being strangers and Outsiders by clioice a4¥ä 

wliile our a 

lii Story CHRMSKitHdxMKX liad p ^rman^ntly ca i ir>en i, ve il^ 

pki a cliapter in tlie country's liistory^/VK 

'^lU ü/h II 


All tliose years in Germany I lived as an active member 

of ^everAfi Jewisli commuiiities and liad never lost tlie sense 


tli at "tliey"^\7^Te i^^8 outcASTS of German cu It/ure, and my 
German-Jewisli roots were at tlie core, /on tlie inside^of a 
superior tradi^tioian Now I began to understand fcliat I 


and to realities 

mind and 

f eel ings 

liad CO ped witli being excluded by witlidra^rl to abstrac^tion 

al ivei in 

to fend ofl dismal realities outside. .Max, As a refugee on 
temporary sufferance, I liad come to rest in a friendly 
culture and society I was tost to like and admire, 

e no effort to fuse our cultural 


fel^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ "'^ environment. ^^^ intel lectual • s distan 
\^^ ^^^ \5^»5< had / • -^ - "^ 


f rom 


cult ure fused witli tlie persecuted Jew's , restraint 
become"second na t ure", a ittsfftral-^ferÄÜ i n tliis ''^exile^ 

Situation ofbeing kept isolated from most splierej^s of ec^onomiyr 
and civil life except the arts, tlie university, aj^ my religious 
Community tit at wou l d't^Q'lTö^mG fco - mo . In more complex and modifiel 
forms, I liaD BECOME the stranaer Georg Simmel liad analyzed 
ina Vc^assicayessay of 1 8 9 O^^J-^g cw»e across ye^jj^ars after I had 


lef t Switzerland. 

^^,.^^ 'aW^\ 


'"^"° Mini" lifi^ 



a • tI-WIP^ friendly and liospitable SWiss society b»i 

<^ »^ pL'^ V,cr et H 
/O V rii CAP cji^ 



t • I 


• I 

• • 






^ , .^e inc[ . acti ve . \ . 
\mw pQotfü ^s^f^arttm^^mm^s m (fet^e Jewisli Community, participating 

in refugee social life and politics,.^ sustained me in a 


pattersn of purposes and~^contlnTait-ies tliat tested my commit- 
ments and con^tinui ties . Like a good lo v-e affair, it matured 
witli age and distance, tlie blemislies gained stronger contours, 
political and social liistory added perspective/ Tlie feeling tone kkaJk- 
of tliose years liowever would become a memory trace, remembered 
t ime. recreated in renewed contacts. 

History liasa not been entirely kind to tlie 
government agencies, tlie political and adminsitrative elites, 
tliat liad sliaped SWiss po licies towards asylum and refugees during 

those years. Since 1933, (ffat liad attempted to strike a humane 

u 1 L. t^o coufl icting interests, One was 

balance between^its illusrrious tradition of granting asylum to 

victtms of political persecution and religious intolerance# .«4*MDf 
givliäirg its neutrality -^ ^^ ♦•^^p ^\\ 

■ffiiiropfiian powetfc tlie 
moral dignity of ^^ International - ^ - - - 

XlHHRÄillg i([umänism and international ism Jupi^ e iJL L u i3 tlie max^l 
pj^icLigti of «• (icuH44*y surrounded by grTTi!" poTf-r n-i glihnr- tlia.t 
still considered violence - warfare - 5«? tlie iJhltiH ' 



^^^ ^ ,.^. « w.j,wyjT— — ^ ^ ^^ 

SDmitting foreigners to XKxiäHHiSH jfeermanent resiidence. 


was ancliored in reci pro cal treaties 00=- 

to Protect tlie significant p e irfaion of Swiss nationals wlio liad souglit 

.— tU^^ t. ies te^H: iLr^tä^ 

momic op Ao rtunitn^ abriad ickaxtliey could not findi^^Mr f InO If'^ 

expressed concern witli tlie steep increase of tlie numberrand 
centage/pf German, Italian and Frencji nationals tlie 1910 federal 










major, eitles along t lie borders 


Geneva / 


deströS^gxf issures ehween French-and German-spea 

Lugano, or Basel . Tke-^fair-a*-eo liad brouglit ^^»sm. potenfcially 
uctive --t^ 


r: \ W ^^A^ i/^J 

, federal autliorities called for ^MMlB^ 

(J •^ nturalizatioui to Swiss ci tizensliip^ A^^T^erögäTTfve of canbonal 

^ C>lua^ Vlfvi6^*^^ -^ and local autliorit ies , some of whom cljarged significan-^ fees iXKi: 

Ia^TIs ~hij(\t f^CJt^ naturalization was called "Einkaufen", buyin^ into)^^^^m^ 

jn^o\?lQ^^ D^ 

were eager to tax new Citizens . About tliis time 

federal agenc 

^1 T^ IV T^ an arm of 

^(X.i/^Ol^o\ UuVh> lil^e tlie Ali 

en Police Office, xiilk tlie Federal Police and Justice 
Department? (MIniatry h gained new weiglit in tlie const i tutional 

balance betwee/icantons and 


' ( Dunü ) ., TlieVWar liad 

brought Not recht ( Emegency Decrees) btertr^ ^ÜÄXM sliiffegg $^5 yyi^r< 


legal and police powers to ' ^^f/ ^ fJ c X^n cXi{ ^"^ j^o^,^.^ 

to tlie central government^ teiwFt ^^i^£^ n ot: £ u ITj'' rescin 


ded wlien 

- ;. 

parliament codified alien law in tlie 1920s and early 1930s?,-:, 


&JLKK^±K'^ Asylum to political dissenters and persecutees, tlie 

major groups[of applicanbs, was to>l< be decided on tlie basis of 

tlie (CulturaL/s^iritual ) and economic interests of tlie nation 

and tlie degree of i ts" IJeberf remdun q" - a term tliat wouldxKKi^Hxxe 

be defined 

botli as "numerical prepond.Terance" and 

as "alien to tlie national essence iWesen)". Federal and cantonal 

e.g. tlie cj.ty of.^^ I^a^ ^vY\^^uytr^^c>K.^j- 

legis Jatd)DnHxg:x inf^^Tuericli 


• • 


s unassimilable and wesensfremd 

def mi tion. 

tlie admission 


Tliat tlie police was put pn "nliarge of '^äää^äkääxx 

foreign nationals was not uniquely Swiss 

)reign nationa 

^ Kj l^^ö^ cul- cuntries/ as well.fH: d*«^ 

^^ ,A France and probably otlier Continental 

igration l ii&tiuy-diid 


wliose liisterlc e: 

liad been been 


tlie "peopling" of tlie continent: witli sui table migrants, however 

poor/ "wesensfremd" tliey may liave been to t lie evolving American 

experien ce . p^^^j^ ^933 ^j^^ ,pj^g Federal POlice Department, anof 

executive brancli of tlie governmentxÄiray in subtle 
interplay witli cantonal a^oI ice autliorities , f-ö^fefigged 

RÄÜ« JtÄSx J€kÄi£xHÄX«ii8ii8iixi€kÄ«ÄxMx otlier Western democraciesy 

d ^iS^Bk tlie economic depression of tlie early 1930s andhigli 

unemplouyent i n bu s inooD and — th e pr o r e ssi r e Hf^«^/ and restricted 
admissions for residen^ , It uplield its tradition of asylum by 
admitting political refugees on condit ion tliat they would leave 
Switzerland for permanent emigration countries witliinxJckH a 
Short time. Gainful w^ i f le wa s st r i c 1 1 y forbidden . Refugees wlio 
W^rl. deprived of tlieir national ity^ were excluded or expelled. 
All g^rgkl^ had to be su pported by private agencies like Aid 

ib Workers [Arbeit^rhilie) , tlie SWiss Israelite Aid to Emigresyand 
a number of fa ^Giübianco A organizations ^f or vstudents , writers, 
actors, etc. The Israelite Föderation of Congregations (SIG) 
had a oocdod -to a gorüfUQCt — h^' tlie government tp provide for indi- 

gent Jewisli ref ugees . Theiur a 

bout 20,000 ÄBfflfae^s^'wouid in tTT^'i 

end Support i^x Jewisli emigres and refugees at least equal to 
tlieir own number. Until mid-1938 , , tlie Jewisli Agency for PaLESTIN?:, 
tlie Ameri can Jewisli Joint Distribution VCommittee, tlie League of 

Nations High Commissioner for Ref ugees (Dwiglit MacDonald) a 

aui.iiy..J gg^Switzerland Ns transi t /r^^^e in 

internaional migration^^^rod voluntary s. ocial agenciaes 

K^working at times against the restrictions imposed 

\Sy the Bern authori ties . 

iod I lived in Swi tzerland ,^ 1 943 r 1946, 

During tlie per 

newspapers and radioT — ttTe~sources of Information of tliat 
time, did not report on any great crises in SWiss immigration 

conditions . /ojir^ liad been told by a Swiss contact in Berlin Iwp^^e 


Mir tliat we ran tlie danger of being 

b^&k tf we were appreliended close to tlie frontier^ 




illegal entrants faced tliis problem, especially on tlie Frencli = 
swiss frontier. in tlie camps I liad been interned in, Buesserach and 
Sierre, I learned .more ab out i^lfrom mui f el low-internees^ most 

--, ^_,_.j^h ^ — ^-^..j — 'nfr pdrportations of Jews 

of wliom liad baon '^Fr-ei^^e^r-aTTd 

liad begun in Western Europe in tlie Spring of 1942rf»a:Hä lin France 

enly native-born Frencli nationals l^^rd bot^^ri exempted. Many tlioudsands 

of tlie intended victims to^Qk fliglitinto tlie gojtxla»** Underground/ 








^S ^ ^f 



since tlie TH(*ird Reich liad begun to drive out its opponents . xanä 
Tttei' 1[TeTd~fast td tTTe" tragic error tliat Jews liad left voaüntörily 

in searcli of better economic opportuni ties - economic emigre's. 


Wi gtsc liafts emiqranben / an obloquy tliat liad emerged earlier in tlie 

1 eari 

political KHHkKDfliüixisiälxxHgxx pro paganda campaignSy^radical -left 
German exiles liadfbught against middle- class Jewisli emigres in Paris 
in tlie 1930s. In early August^/^tlie Federal Police Department order/ed tlie 
closing of tlie frontfgrs to all unautliorile;edy|entrants . rt cj:uBat«i±-a 

spontaneous uncoordinaty.ed protest movement yin ^many forms, from front ie 
tier populations ogs^g^^Swiss men in unif orms dragging women and 

cliildr en across frontiers 


delivering refugees resisting being 

returned - refoulement - into tlie liands of Frencli or German frontier 

Units. In tlie interior, protest came from manyyjquarters : socialist 
and (in Geneva) communistypol i ticians and elected officials joined 

V / 

Jewisli victims seeking asylum liad tliinned to a trickle. Still in mid-Feb| 

^ *V^ ild .ife ^xiaxrijD a n i o n , S ojnia ^oJlz k ^y o v e r ^ 

ruarf^y / 1943^gi close Berlin friend, Ruth BasTn's]rlr7^T[ärdT)eenx^^ Swiss customs' 

^^ German customs and Gestapo^in tlie Alsace wlien tliey were 

arrested in two auccessive tries to reacli Swiss soil. 

I knew notliing of tlie circu mstances tli at brought abou| 

Ruth' and Sonja' s catastrophe - Ruth survived Ausc liwitz, Sonja perishel 

. in Ravensbrueck - until Ruth liad written us from Berlin in mid-1945 

were made 
and Sonja 's Gedstapo fi les became avai lable for commemorat ion and 

researcli in tlie IDVOs. I kNew separate scraps of biography and 

L. ' history from tlie lar 

,. ..^ ^j ^^w, ^ .wc^ger context and had become acquainted wqith Frau Kiul 

' C T^,,^-, -ir-, Rorn. anri 1 earnUfed about lier work for 


Kurz in Bern, and learnfed a 

refugees . 


fri E>;^ 

January 24,1998 

The peculiar zealotry that distorts our Image of Swiss 
aid to Jewish refugees during World War Two fcÄRäSxMxÜX^fcs^Ki 

has reached a scurrilous low with the p re sent media 
discussion of life in Swiss labor camps for internees. This 

is written to restore some balance in our image of th ese 

camps. T^33Pb Swi tzerland remained untouched by a Nazi military invas 

s ion after their a rmies had blitzkrieqed Western Eur ope in 
the Spring of 1940 

« ( 

to a complex web of interlogking i 

fac tors within and without the control of the SWiss fgovernment . 
Documents published about t^fe^t-e policies in W orl d War II 
suggest that they saw the bottomless irrationality of Nazi behavior 
warily enough to prepare 4for a Goetterdaemme runq mS¥^3=i-ty 
tfea t would G WQllow up what Lh u _y — hH-d- savod — 4H^^-nnrHH=^p,t r?ri tnirl yfiim | 
U n publijjh e ü auL ' umuiiL; ^ in my p o atfess io- n - — &h-e^f--t h a-t Bern 's mili- 
tary intelligence took the threat very s e r i o u s 1 3^ a-s^liw^ny^r^-irtr---^^ 
e»*: That bankers served the Nazi need for raw material and 
foreign cu rrency was no guarantee against Nazi aggression. 

-^ <9 »» <L 

Thattlrei f o had boon mem bers of the governing Bundesrat wk¥0 

had hoped to save t he ir country by accomodation 4» hexkx Ä^^Kis^s^ 

WÄ^s never put to the test of policy: Switzerland remained a 

federali:«-^^ adäd- parliamentary democrcy,its people preservedxÄÄxMMKk 

pTreedoms even under war-time restrictions . 

I had crossed the Swiss-German frontier in the middle of nicht of 


June 12/13,1943, without any personal identif icatio;)> Yisay kkx 

MHKsjc -^^f^Aaloout 80 $$ worth of Reichsmark in my pocket. I left 




XiJ{lixJik8xX*^8x&iicicit85JxÄlixiSM/'on an' immigrai^tion visa 

and a makeshift Swiss traveJj'document for the United States, 
in September/October 1946, a f resh/j^ „ii „ L ■ J docytorate in^pi^ä^^^^^ 
in my pocket, and with aßbout as much money as (|l had brought into 

the country. what happened during these three years ^f^d^'^L'^nd 

its neoV»!/ CK^J ^ 

relationship with iha inTcümj j.i j 1l l . lAMnqr-ar^o o • -, • ^ • 

^ i: j^ Tr^^"^ -LANDScape, Swiss political and 

intellecAftual culture^ hn r inntcol mix u fii . i.i nmn . . . j - JT , ^„^,X^ ^ 
Like everybody eise who e^'^'-illegally ••; I had thrown myself on the mercy 
of the SWiss government: They had decreed as late as A/ugust 1942 that 
Jews should be returned to the vcouhtry they had pome from. Q±±£sx:m^^ 
rroTT— 1,011 ticaJ r ^^rnfffT^ they did not tfei*^c J^*^-ireFe-iHXiäHH^H£Xia£x±i£Hxai 

<lche y 


l/t/'i ^>^C7\A^o\ 



<\^LAj^ j . t/\ 


M 4^ \j1 c C/7 . 

Herbert A,Strauss, 90 Lasalle Street 14 D, New York 
FAX 212 666 5874, TEL 212 666 1878 

NY 10027 


\\a^ Id 



.„ ^ . ^^^ recent international media discourse on conditions 
iev^T'^S/fn^^ for Jewish refugeesfisgjjßigg the low intel01ectual 
level and the questionable veiraclty we haye come to expect from 
press-release journalism. Ber^h it, or de^ it noi-^constitute harrass- 
ment, to use the current lingo, that we had to sleep on straw or 
Lland^'rp^^^S^' •''''' ^^ ^"^ '° t«^'^W/lrm%« or >,t*^ on streetoj 
to U. n,^M h™ ^^^^''°^^''^rl-l^c^°"^^ the'swisstantonkpolice dopartewient 
^ ^TT^.v '""^'f usingf^:r^methods when 'they fJit overwhelrned by 
what they saw as large numbers of Jews in panic flight from SS and 
tr^^H^^Q^?''- ^'^^-^^^^-Laiui^-Be^ iu i t, and Fran c e, Vi ch ^ anü -^Tccupr^-, 

timTtJ ftll^ T^ ^'"°"^ ^^^ ^°'°°° ^^""^^^ refugees given asylum in war- 
time Switzerland, one ofthe more than 7,000 able-bodied men 
and women interned in labor camps, one of the jji i i, iluyug- COO ^ 
S> ultimately released for study at a university. Th^-cor^-^^ Mv 
rJstsricJfnn^ ^""'"^'l collective living under semi-miltary rules and 

thaf T won?r ^^^^^^°" "«y s^^^s^ Of having survived a catastrophe 
nioM ^°"l<^/ecogn ize later as the most vicious mass murder of a 
people. Family, friends, institutions , the entire German- Jewish 
culture that had formed me/lca* destroyed - and I had been left alive 

?Pin of^r^ '^^r'^^ °^ hair-raising coincidences , and with the , 
help of Germand Swiss, Christians and Jews, 1 e f 1 1 -^-6 q n4^ and con- A 
servative men and women. XxkaäxspHHixxxKijcxyBxarKxFrom teenage on, 
I had worked with and for German-Jewish organizastions, directed a 
§^§^\^°ü??..^"^?f"' studies Jewish Science and served as a subst^'tute 

— ^- ~^" Preacher i n war-time Berlin. Wfe«S ixKÄÄx:£jaKKKiäxfe]ax 
KisaHxsixH8tsxia£xBfir±±H When they came to fetch my fiancee (now my wife 
b4 years; and me for shipment to an unknown death,we escaped qksLx 
KEXHxhxääHHxüjcxxx into hiding in war^time gg^ün.In mid-1943 first Lott 

thenl reached the SWiss f rentier .Shkh 

I shifted my major to modern and contemporary history and have been 



that the 



teachmg and working^dn German and Jewish hist ory an d social science 
xisxxsxHKiax in New Yo^^rkT-TSter-oE-ilT-Bilrirn [g^FiT^IK^ How could — 
respond to the immensity of our experiences ? Be som^ow worthy 
of our dead and give meaning t^ our entirely accide ntal survival 
after this meaningle ss slaughter ? 

Swiss . It formed our perspectives that the very existence 
neutral Switzerland had saved us, and/jiad behaved with utmost 
civility even when they imposed hardsMpslon us . straw mats jar 
Cutting firewood, CLearing lots from tree stumps, whitewashing fruit 
trees agamst i nsects seemed more challenges t han impositions. 

^^^x,^?^*'^'^ ^"^^ ^ frequent hiker and camper in my youth movement dav^l 
had had no money ("330.13 Marks" , thepolice report noted), anlno "^ ' 
identifications - our fake papers were needed by others t^«^i?«3eii the 
frontler. . ) iThe Swiss tradeunions had pushed through "^rTcFTTä" 
against alldwing refugees 46 do any even voluntary labor. it took 

^'^^^^^^^^f •sWfP^^"'^'^^ ^"'^ ^^ '^^^^ °^ militar^y quarantine camp to 
check \tjf-^^ue - I would be the only professor at the three 
academiV-rr^itutions I taught later who had a prison record 


My four mohths in 1 abor camp Sierre would have been more 
I had not preoccupoied with preparing my exit to study at 

-lc?W Aßi^oiJ. l ßu-i (/'><- y^c^] 



vexing if^^^ 
a swiss ^IB 

^0 k\^^lj öh llf (v^y^ö 


\(i vol^ 






m*^ ^ 


university.THe about 200 internees/ mostly Jewish refugees 
•from France and Belgium, worked on small land reclamation 
projects in the RHone Valley, and did some forestry work on a nearby 
m o untain face. The economic rati onale was invisible - how many 
pounds of vegetables or how many apricot trees could grow on 

our land"? Mo re believable is the poli tical-social reasoning that 
mmeraed from war-time document^s - 1 it wou Id have caUSEJ"bad blood" 

-^4^yot-^'^^^^^4^ '^ aftor tjaey ■ haa paas e d a - law again c fa i ii ^ «^ 
wa-r^E^4:ifte SWiss men and women ja^ lived and worked under the harsh- 
conditions of a Switzerland that tu^ned affluent only with World 
War II Uli wIOaui.They also were called up regularly for military servic 
ce in th eir Citizens' army. It was not qäXv self-pity or inviduous- 
ness when they sa w^ thems elves as work-horses . /HPvejl^ 

I believe C^TIke m^s eTfTljiost^^ 
living in a forced collective, under'""'noji urban ^QirT''^Tmrt'ive 
hygienic conditions, and ina aregimented Community that restricted 
leaves and Visits as we believqd with unnecessary rigidity, especially 
for fathers or sons with familg^ in other camps or accomodations . 
XxiiHiiaHg:Hdxi:iax^k]asKXKkiaxsMpp]axJkKiäx±:kH The camp director, a constructio 
Supervisor did not quitemeasure up and fSiled to understasnd his charq 

ges.^- In 1044; (g fLci I hdJ 1 ^^^) ^i^ 

■»X „riif"Fi\ano and oamp InmaLb&jf / iflUg s 
goit_aux--W^of essional musi cians tog 
for the townsp ^ople of Sierre. And 
QteiSKm^ l^tters dhei^ b^^ai to ecpedite 

in Zuer ilch understood the fe:fcxHxiKg:kxd 
apft^Ti^^ — inlV u in ee fe^ even in t he best o 
l^he idiocb of camp life ^|With leisu 
JfcKjäsxiH InstitutecT^^ '^fe^ugee pari 

^^^i^e^fv^Al^-^^^^^^ mandate to draw 

coun — tr^ ohcG the war 

>ersons cla^moring for resettlement 



Is, söme 

camp c^lrectorat 
appy X /^ Ae w i n g 
o J^^lieve 
n /aisDxxHßik 
g^prssonUali v u ^ 
rations lfor//(V 
s of disilaced 
r voice neard. 

i , ^0 Ur-aU 

* » { «"> / 




u^ ^^ 



1 ce- 

On December 1, 1943, not quite sixf mohfclis after 
T liad fled across tlie 

front t-4r^ " , \ß ,s45tecbitiat?d 

ed ac 

i-fi — eiiüiuy inj j. iutbiintnef^— i Sierre Labor Camp and enro/ in Bern 
IJinversiti^almostxgJ^ a fr4ee man. T liad waited and worked impatiently 
for tlist day. Tliese liad not been onerous six montlis as T progressed 
from Police custoiy in Scliaf f liausen prison to tlie military quarantine 
camp at Buesseracli, finally to Labor camp Sierre ^ mt^ T ne;s?er questioij 
ned tlie System tlie Federal P01ic§ e FDepartme^it liaft put in place f^^ 

• • •• • 

civil lans 

OA rQQ/> 

saek^tKri:rr'esLMpe ^irire-^Ha^zl^ ia4ei^-ii!tes in neutral 

1 ö ^ H<er4iie'7^<»t^>^ \DJoxM 00 

Switzerland.d^ . ߣ£jned— de&i^^ as a series 

of Steps towards personal autonomy and and growing i^control nvpr /cy^^ 
de^tiny. Tliad arrived without passport or v isgi in tlie middle of a Jui] 
niglitand confindd to police custody, and for a few d aysi miglit liave e. 
-e-Jti^euLtid" Lu ■ be returned to Nazi Germany : since September 1942, tlie pol 
liad instructions to send Jewisli ri{f u^^geeslback to Germany (or Nazi 
Austria )because Jewisli refugees, persecuted for tlieir race ratlier thhn 

for political resistance against tlie r egime, were not believed to be 
be tlireatened by similarly liarsli measures.T liad been asked to apply 
for a . "Flueclitlingsausweis" , ^J^rÄ-a^y a few days foWowinq my arrest. 
and T took it as a good omen. The quarantine calSiT^l^asT cfew^4d^ 
a resrve uni^t, we could leave only wlien we were taken out for a walk 
>^two oFTTife armed guards, T do not believe inmate^ were petrmijh^ed 


to use tilge teleplione - \^ frontfer guard/d(»feiw.i liad been instructed 

no^ä — t-e— p 

öigQäk w 

or reiati 


^^^_-_ , ^.. wif6=TCfc^44-t a s s }/ ]^944-fe4-ca-i — or — evcc ^ ii o mlfet ' i ^\ 

in.f ; lueiitial Citizens to intercede witli tlie autliorit ies ,.wk«4i 
kÄXÄ and improper] y Xftf^rtrerrpeV^e work of tj^lie FremdenpoJcizei . 


We could not receive visitors 


tlie mail was read by tlie 

military censor of tlie fcamp, Lanor camps were undei: civil ian ÄM:k:kH: 

administration wliicli jcag. 

iJ a 1 ^ }fc ^ work and leisur 

Wc^t'V) ^J*<? 

e scli£dules 

snd imposed a^ drHrly curfew on jsäö— itüTifeps . AI 1 able-bodied men worked 
at some agricultural talcs like v[clearBingjl and , cut ting ^^Men trees 
^ mainain9ng tlie camp grounds and barracks. GQJiipai;^-^ o th e miliLar y| 
4^^^w^^.^ei\i._jfe we could communicate jlreely witli tylie outside world, 

obta in passes for weekends or ü|foir travel to visit relatrives or 

W (7 ^\ H c? K» b ^Mf /^/J-fn'\JiJ a i t^n (Art Ui^hps ^♦•^ 
I^carirs^:^^— l-B Q 1 1 m a t te^ inte i; ^^EH^ig"'0 i f w e Tr^tri-^— a- f f-Qif-^gt^ . ÜÄxXÄXÄxiÄxÄkÄXÄi 

ÄXWe weire emüouraged to organize our leisure time, ' cul tural an 


literary and musivcal activitues, cvourtesy of the Young Men 's Cliri| 
Cliriustian Assiciation in Geneva, liad a radio receiveji and newspap 
pepers, a small ;libreray, ^^^ ^ leisure time vcordinator elected byj 
camp inmateds. There was no i:e;igous activity and only one perfunct 

• • 

Visit by a irabbi from Frencli-speaking Switzerland- the camp 
made uo of 

wads overwlielm9ngly f rench-Äsiixkx or Yoiddish speaking Jewish 
refugees from France and Belgium.ggxggn Jewish or/and politival ref 

rfrom Germany or Austria 

made up onlyu a small ,minotiyy . Tliey 

iiMÄxkJikHxxhaMsxxxxYjru had been displaced a second time when The N 
Nazi KÄKXMXJskiHB Germany had conquetred Western Europeen countries 
in whicli tliey had found refurjre before the war. 

These Systems worked well for me since T found 
opportunities to become actove in the vcommunity's affeirs, at firs 
marginal ly then in the dfamp Office, as leisure time vcoordinator 
and as an unoffivcial let ter-wri ter , advisor , and intermediary betwe 
cam inmates and tlie Lagerleiter, a gruff and not opverly sensitive 


Swiss vconstruction vopany foreman wlio liad been an Auslands- 
scliweizer , retru4ned for tlie duration of tlie war to liis German-sl 
Swiss liomeland. Tlie step-by-step reurn to freedom to act and 
move around communicate witli friends , return to a normal "feelinl 
Feeling-tone" and tlie stable expectations of everyday and liumdraum| 
life under confined conditions was coupled from early on witli 
a goal tliat was quite unreal ist ic wlien I.utz Ehrlich, my felllow- 
refugee, and i talked about it wliile we were still in Schaffliau- 
sen prison - entöl in a SWiss university and of possible, graduate 
and obtain a Doctor's degree, Wlien T wrote a first petition to the| 
military camp Commander in Uesseracli i liad no clear notion of liow 
T could provide for myself out of camp. Tlie military liad no 
provisions to grant an internee leAve for such studj, and my 
letter to tlie Herr Kommandant ended in t he wasytepaper bSK?:D, 
or was buried in my persOonnel file witli tlie Mikl iutaerdepartment . 
He liad promised to forward tlie letter to tliisi.Territorialkommando 
in Luzern m 

( V. 



A special kind of exlie. 

Refugee in Switzerland 1943 - 1946. 

\ VJ.^ ''/-» 



On November 30,1943, 

for tlie Ist time 


T stepped away from Labor Camp sierre 
entered free Switzerland. practically a 


W, . 

free man/'l liad arrived in tlie counlfitry by niglit fidmg my 
w(|ay ttrrW^Ji i^e German custom 6r*fws fco Scliaf f dliauseii Canton , 
After a day or two in Scliaf f liausen prison, a police officer 
wlio interrogated me , handed me an applictation for a refugee 


V j 


idetity paper$ - T had no paper^ on ^me wlien T axrxved^My "Xisjbs^h 
Khxmä forged German civilian and military papers my liost at tlie 
front())er - tlie lielper - Joseph MJaM|ii^tR2£ Hoefler^Xhad accepted 

witli thanks 



CK^S Wvs^^Hi 


iveit--to" other Jewisli escapees from tlie 


Gestapo. Thei/took my word ( and my comfeanion i.ufcz Ehrl ich 's wor^- 
for tlie tr uth it was: 



d like US, Atold tlie feö=utli 

i n t er r og a t ed Lotte 

and TLse Schoeneberg in 

been well informed about 

X o^c\a iU 



eGfflp4-i mG n t a F y . Eo ing withniif- 


Ihe police had found 350/. Reichsmark in my i 


any i dont ity 

fV^T ^ v^^-^JL^ 


^^^ , T was rLO- ub-in cH-y interned as a civil/an 




ikeUggS aTgjdb 11 =4^^^ thousands^ who liad arrived m 

Germany or . . -, r, i. r- L^ 
fash^on from Nazi-Occupied Western Europe/ghT-t 

ßÄXMÄüXx, li£riztxir~^t^c:^p:s^^ ^amp (medical and politica 

\-n( ^W\ 



quarantrihe \r) 



ter six weeksj /"Jlie military dlsmissed mel t-o-T.'! Vil lall auLliU' — 
i^ife^ and si«^=tedime to a Labor Caipp,^in tlie Canto^i Valais near 

Sierre in t lie Rlione Valley. Eacli of tliese ,s%=i^p4 ''^aTlawe d more 

freedom of movement. P-4r a\/e liiülualeü Llif?*; lUü l' unei^ in Llr 

ckapter . Equally routine, it turned out, was my departure from camp 

„ .. n ^ V, o • • • i. • 1 ^ L. i'enowned and respected 

now: Swi tzerland and Swiss universities liad beenxiMÄxxXxxÄPJI^MSxxx 

in tlie 19tli cgjij^ury / 

rr\^ ^^Xryi 

\^t-or-/t\\B\i: lio spifeality to ÄXÄÄÄKfcÄXÄx womei^, pol i tical ^ ref uc,ees 
^xßiM f i-r^jjaJ^jxg J j or 1 iberal fe»^ ^^!(B(B demoer aa^^ ejrv->at t]i.£_.ei:t<iySocial i 


r,^A^o44i^.luiidi. re^&e. Swiss c antons liad taken in religious 

dissenters seeking refugejfe since tlie Protestant Ref ormat l-tke ^A^'Ü^ 

ti*e "Marian refugees or tj^t^ Huguen ottes. Tlie ( f^rotest6ant ) likfiiaii 

Tlile^ological Faultaet of Bern UniversityxHXHH liad founded a 

l \ a gl 

department for Catliolic tlieologians wlio /^ref used to accept 

Pio Nono's doctrine of Pai-al inf al libili ty after 1871. Äj^-eguta-feridB- 


j{ Ml »'<i^ ^^ 


u « V 

e vv^^tt 


^\ 1^ 6 


omulc^a fe c d' m 1 9-g>V l^^d reaffirmed 



¥«n liad to qua lify for full-time 

\ ^ 



y^"' f N>f " •( Ä I 

study at a university ot professional sc liooi^/and prov e tA act 


\vt p 


Tnfoi f. 

y-e^ ] 


TSfu ti 

>vt CM/^c^* äJ' /> 5f / vi'iy 




le means to i>d-y — # ^r it . Conc] usion of your stud^/^or ii 


to f und^f ye^»-i!'--simdy obligated you to leave tlie country 

OlO loii<K jZ^,(i '"''•'"' 

• ri 

nie regulati 

j4^thd~-b«^j;i p^^r.HlitU^ to refugee students from Nazi German and f ascist 
Ita/y, in tlie end to Occupiedr Europe. About 600 Jewisli refuqee 
Student, if st atistics ar e adequate, were thus able to enro lxMMä( 
aftei:^tlie Swiss Israelite Aid to PvOfugees liad secured American Jewi 
wisli su3^POi"t fo^' tliem from tlie tlien le gendayy JOINT (American 
Jewisli Joint Distribution Committee).( PTcard Bibl . ) Botli Lotte and 

f1^ j]f\l v/v^cUbe^ 

I benefited from te^iie pro gram.I^öUie w^JS able to complete a ^ourse 

in mediucal teclinology (laboratory science) at Neucliatel and work 


Lotte would later be among|^ tlie benf iciarfes of tliis program» 

Tt liad taken time to smootli outÄ some beaurocratic wrinkles for 

me. äm4l Entering a university was no routine event in my 

life. I mau have been tlie liappiest man travelloing onm tlist 

train from Brieg to Bern. T knew tliat T was capable of working, 

T could trust my abilities. T would finally enter a continuous 

course of studies. Tt would lielp me to assemble tlie pieces opf tlie 

Puzzle tliat liad crisscrosed tlir ougli my German beginnings. 

My escape liad not been planned, it liad notliing of tlir 

"constructive emigration" and tlie "well-laid plAns" abput it, tliat 

we liad ourselves advised our friends to pursue. Was T now 

im Exil, ein Emigrant ? Nazi Propaganda liad incessantly dxirtied 

tliei image^as rootless deserters or traitors to tlie fatherland. 

t^ pii le is temporarily absent from \^iisß liome 


»»d .i l Q doe s — fto-fe 

TU^ Q'\A^^ Je ff "^/^on 

n rihrna^i (44« roots are intlie past of liis G-&i^^' ' 

, and 

tlie fut ure od liis dreams and plans for Ih: 

nxX}4a:^iflÄitx liome . 

i!)racfcic?r5l iN 
My plans to emigrate liad failed in igHXMÄHy Berlin . Tliere was no / 

way to re-connect myself witli tliem. T was"off tlie track"fcliat T liad 

imagined for my fcuture, tlie tensionscreated by tlie events T liad gone 

xJilcfiUlll liad brouglit ±:kHSHx±±HsxxiHxdiÄÄXxayp i^lansin disarray. 

Being liunted liad completed tlie process of Separation from tlie 
exile's Heimat - liomeland. Heimat kills.Tlie fairytale landscape 
travelled by tlie train 's window. Nature is Heimat.! would returmn to 
Berlinto pick up wliere T liad left off - tlie Jewisli Community 





/ //^ / 

My flight to Switzerland at midniglit June 12,1943, 

aved me from being des^oyed in tlie Holocaust. I liadnot 

yL r yi^t^VC one 

imply passed overthe I iVie tliat separates^ State from another. 

'^hat ni 

iglit, an^ e s c dpec T 

tue Gesfapi 

•rl rn~~&Q q r eh i ng £ o r — 

• ■ • 

ugxt.^^v^— iJ-ewflp» I }iad crossed tlie diviging line between 
Western civi lizaxion and Nazi barbarism. j j^^^j studied at the 
Hochscliule fuer die Wissenscliaf t des Judentum s , and liad been 
educated in tlie Jewisli Community, tlie purest oasis of the humane 

l Europe t-i^^^^i . " 

in Nazi German 
and liberal traditions>. of what we 

I had been en riched by what survived in Berlin cosmopolitan 

.best .o,,.^^ 
life of the ( vre^t:^r'riGerman traditions in musical Performances, 

f. tXe great museums,i.yi literature. But i^ liad swjam ona cesspool 

of the worst detritus of the German tradition that had swallowed 

up my culture, my so ciety , everybpdy around me and w ould have 

swa±— iQW Q d ^^-flve too Iä— cm anonymousy^and me a n /e^eeetrtrire»ft by poison 

gas xiM^six million^^Suroipean Jews and unaoi^ihtod' otlier victims. 

had f 1 \i ^ 

I survived persecution andliving homeless in Berlin, ii*i^{ -^ 


socialists, .^väDt-^s- 


e German Christ ians and German 

, ^^y*^ ._ , , lona.los. 

Ip- OociüllaLb \uI to^-4%a^^ 

^s ■-' 


\iaujLjir-4dr ^ gv e r feho- »baarfefhH-f^ had risked tlieir civiüc existiince and 

their 1 ives to save Jews.Tliere had been just men and women in 

I had known next to nothing about SWiss culture and 
Society beyond childhood memories, some religious history , the 

great Reformers of the 16th Century, some Schiller , some Gottfried 

Keller, and the cultrural historian Jacob Burckliardt Kkaiax 
to wliom I owed MaHjcxkjaMrKXH* a mStSkmtlltiBfgif^ romantic notion 

of the "Eropean^ ^"^P^^^^" .xiJi^ic grui-iTir^pl« mm\ an ölb 4rticulation of //. 

like ^ 

antij^Nazism ^^^ Mäxxxrxx tlie DUtcli liistorian Jan Huiz-ringa or tlie 

Spanisli essayis and phi losoplier Ortega yu Gassetex»- ••• but 

was not helpful for an even minimal understanding of Swiss ^ » , 

politics or society. IN M4^f THE ONLY ^^iSR COUNTRIES NOT 

OCCU PIED BY Nazi armies in Eu rope were Sweden, Spain, and 

Portual.They were mffiTP remote and liardfr tro reacli across 

occupied Europe or tlie Baltic Sea. Switzerland " was there", a 
day's railroad trip from Berlin, and tlie only countryxwxfckxxkxjskxiij 
wliere Lotte 's relatjjves were making a determined effort to lielp 
US escape^ since t liey u nder|^stood li ow desperate our Situation 

was^ and would become as Nazism would writlie in its final agony. 

Witliout tlieir energetic assistance we would probably liave 

1 »^TlT « o. 



kbout/ 30 

peraons wter-a-v^ iled Lh e ma e lv oo Q^ -t^j: 

^kr^ciph, o#%he sm^j.-^ — " undergoiind i a i 1 i -t » -^a-d^' titey"lreipea LUbiiug 

a«:f=— «15 


■14VtQ-_bg.4 n_g_^ jjj 3 Q^_ mirflih liavp pe' i^Rl i^'^ . 

L udwig Schoeneberg ( 1882 - 1968), tlie brothe r of 

xMHikHx Lotte 's mother ,hsd been living in Lausanne since mid- 
1938 after acqu iring the Argentine citizenship in Buenos Aires. 
He was bporn in Salzkottep^Sf a Westpfiian-Jewish small-town 
familyof middling conditions ,faaKÄMÄ and by dint of a gift for 
markets and money developed a^ uncle's Berlin specialty störe 
for lace and seamstress Utensils into into the major Berlin 
specialty departinent störe for bridal gowns and do-it-yo urself 
home-sewing - an indusry mucli advancved by the wideninq u 

g use 

of mass-produced quality pattern 



J ^h 

1 ^. !ji ■ V, Vly ty rU^ ^'^'^ 


and pro.'.bably at its peak in the penurious 1920s. He may well 
liave be;longed to t he last genera tion of 1920s merchant 

princes before tlie Nazis destroyed their cult ureand killed 
those who stayed c m b e yoha 1935 oi ' i9J9 :j^ not because he 

became a financial and comme*:rcial success by recognizing 
a need that had social impications /.i^*Ä^. Like other Jewish 
retailers of the period, he identified with his emp^oyeesx^Kö 

and cared for them in the patrialrchal flashion of an earlier 

• j ^ 1 with 

period, and lie supported tlie conservative modernTsifr]wliich 

Vienna sec ession and Scandinavian design had stamped building 

and interior decoration in Berlin. His success liad made liim 

the unchallenged head of liis families/- 

to :'tlie point of 

patron, in 

finding a 17tli Century Prague gourt factor, ennobled by liis 


genealogy lie commissioned in t lie 1930s. 

Still, this Nortli Ger man (Westfelialian ) social and g^itical coin 
conservative had lost touch with the Community of his 

• I 

origin and converted to Catholicism - hehad aTTENDEd a Catliolic 
Gymnasium in Paderborn and becQme friends with a fellow Gymnasia^i- 
who would epd his life as a missionarey in tlie Braziian forest. 
It is not clear what äÄÄfcXÄXÄdxki«xx«ÄÄii^ÄÄÄÄxx liad awakened him 
early on to tlie threat to life and property the THird 
Reich posed even durindtimes Hr9 33--1 9 ? 7 ) wlien tliey disstmlated 
to hide their secret re-arm^öjent . He had carried on a love affair 
with an art st udent 23 y ear4^his junior of rooted Protestant 

pedigree that turned into a lurid story of international 

^ ^ .^ ^ national identitiells 

marriages and hxdsxaKdxxfiKkx changing R^j^i^R^iiMÄ^ iikSXxkgifigÖ 



to outwit 

Nazi rapaciousness a tat^i 4- v^-; r.^ / 

. A Weltreis e (ocean voyage 

around the globe) and a wedding before an English just i ce of the 
peace ended in a withdrawal to retirmint in Lausanne - not without 

real losses and pains. Ilse - auntTi^P ^orked 

f o j.j.t>tj auntiise - fcjjXÄSi to re-connect 

v'ith iSIxContinuit^^llxfciJjÄxiSijfis xK«xH«Sxi«Kl£x and to translate 

u Ol- Frencli 

iiS3E Berlin style into the mental ity of bourgeoisLaUSANne. Ludwig 

an analphabet in her medium, was both help and hind rance in 
her M«>c«i.p„«H«i, search f or*lfixx^il8SJJiSi8x^»ic»xxSJi8x*«««^xiJ.x*K*Mx 


Her graphic werk on dance and dancers receiv ed much acco aim in 
H in French. speaking world of art and criticism. 




v\A W^^' 





pj> V -i 

On December 1, 1943,1 left camp Sierre for Bern, less than 

six m,onths after I had crossed the DSwissxgsxDDaH f rentier between two 
German frontier posts in Schaf fhajisen Kanton. The Swiss reception of illega-f 
asylum seekers entering by themselves, not in groups ledj^ by 5i«e paid 
guides the Swiss detested, the Schleppers , had become routine.By then 
v*!ew the panic had subsided la cSnservative Swiss establishment and policw 
officials that hacHbed-thein^ closejthe fronti~er to "Jewish asylum seekers" 
in the Fall of 1942.1 never questioned the System of prison, quarantfine- 
and labor camps that detained me,a "refugee" without the ubicfuitous 
identity papers of war-time Europe and with no visible means of support, 
Refugee was the lowest Status of^rsons granted tempor^ary asylum in 
Switzerland.We had been wamed t ki5ii:xgKiÄSöcg®±iSÄxfeaäxKX?äÄXSxfe^^ 
;3Hwiskxs5fi]aBDxsKskHrxxHlcxfcxkHxfx!2KkiHxxxof the risk we faced ,v\^en we took 

refuge in the only country we could reach that had not been overrun by 

the Axis powers since 1940. When I was made to sign an applicaTIOn 

for aH "refugee identity passport " - FluechtXingsauswe is - two or t hree 

days after we had been taken to SchAFFHAUSEN P PISON, I understood that 

I would not be retumed to the Nazi police we had evaded seven «ponths earlier 

and gone Underground. The sequence of feelings I hAD GONE THROUGH fI6m z 

the tense inseciurity of living homeless and being hunted to the playactir^ it 
^\^{?\^ to assumed Q 

l^e&äsä impersonate vämk my fjsxsfKä German identity as a ministerial off icial 

hS^y|recedef?'^ii^=«%eps . Signing up foi^/^ refugee statusfeisHHtoc had symbbolic mean- 

img beyond rgaüfc^ social reality, a step of civic norma Jization , part 

rof the reconst ruction of a SCXTIAL WORLD IN WHICH THEpoliceman, the 

petty party off icial, the janitor, the iT5feaa»srx 

informer we^e-^tö^ 

had gained the Status of dangerous authority figures< and lodged in your quts 



The psychological process ofrecovering from the numerous petty phobias 
we hjad needed to survive was helped by feeling free of the threats 
that could do you in - extemal realities were perceived as friendly, 
the Status ladder re-fonned and approximated the buerger liehe Welt 
where fe aring the policeman or the janitor amounted to para noia . 
LIVING WITH OTHERS IN conmunities helped the process along. I h ad been 
been supported by : !v^ close frienfis and by the groups I belonged to 
since my Wuerzburg days and developed habits of mutu al support and 
cooperATIONTHA HAD HELPED ME TO DEFINE the numerous annoyances of living 
in close proximity with strangers as a nkaüHHgHx psychologicval SNiä 
tasks and invitations to be use ful and serve others. I^t had helped thaT 

Thus when Ihad final ly obtained the last paper 

I needed after being admitted to Bern University - a commiotment for 

financial suppopicfcr for the Fall ytem of 1943/44 from a Student aid 

fund in Geneva - my friends and well-wishers threw a farewell party 
the evening beföre I left and celebrated our togethemes is^: . The weater-colo: 
Cartoon ironically celebrating and mouming my departure 'to 
yonder hills" ämm^^ssifsm^i!^^ seemed 

to confirm my view of our relatsionship. I treasure it to this day. 
That I was able to leave the camp was another lucky break but well 
fpunded in Swiss allen law as digested in a canp manual IN the Office. 
Since 1931, Swiss rules had provbided for siMsäsiDfcxvisas jsiGsxiiäsiäxöiHx 
ag^±iKaHfc for qualified students proving financial ability .and satisfying 

academic recfuiremenits . About 600 such visas were issued to refuxgees 

grsiNksxÄflbx funds for , ^ 

from Nazi persecution, Jewish studentis had been allocated by the 

American Jewish Joint Distributioon Committee to the Swiss Student aid ' 

agencies. The stipend amounted to sfr 75.oo a months for the first 

term, which tumed out sufficient for a Student 's needs if 

major ecpenses for sh oes and clothing woulkd be supplemented by 

the local branch ^f the Bwiss Israeliet Aid to Refugees. 

Since Bem^ the capital, had suffered a shortage of apartments when 

the federal bureaucracy expanded in war-time, the city administration allo\ 

only for fumished toom . My permission would exxpire after the f irst term, 

I was on temporary leave from xwfcsxKüDHHtforced residence 4 ine campiLiinited 

by a dail;y 10 o'clock curfew andobliged to sign a register ath police headfwuqrtye 

headquarters once a week.Leaving town needed police permission. 








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reconstruction o£ „,y .„^i,! „„^^^ 

T „=. .. ., "" "'^ acceleration 

I liad been tli 

rown into in Berlin, Be 

tely^ soberly unehi^tional aj.; 
take place. This atjleast 

rn offered a 

quiet, deliberat 

mospliere for } 

mman reltions 

any number of 
never entirely 

tjJe SSSÄ^i 



my image at tlie t 





ontary experie 


nces witlixikH Be 

m inen and 


signif icant 

It did not jake 1 


ong to be linked 


social liabitats HiaHYiur-»^ i_ 

most unbroken cont 

Community, kkxkkkübkxisx^xxx 


my pastra Jewisl 

an academic institu^ion, and 

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I Jy fU<?tU^ 


F I 

Lji-f vn'-' 

"^ —itered Switzerland on Jjune 12, An .hemiddle of the 
'^ it, like a thief, f urtively Tfrom Nazi Germa 


;f^*c>A^T.-| /110«^td owed ^uto a ser«^ies of lucky c oincidences 

7/ ?1 

Of the Cx ^ I 
n territory. V '7 

-^ <? ^ < ^ 

1 '/(JC 

^--b^eÄ-^iive - I have told my story in the first section? 

hese memoirs/ irr 


and G e rman .So has my then 
' wife Lotte to whom I owe my lif e as 


she owes her^ to me. My religious upbringing as a South-German 
O h r%^ /n(i /have ed 

Jew would suggest that Providence held its protective 

hand over the just.I 



then that I bei;; onged to them, 
that I had lived by the code .(^f the Community and had served 
its needs, its people, and its culture. Bit by bit, ugly reality 
desoyed bea^iful providence. The thieves andmurderers in German 
uniforms did not matter any more, I had written in a diary 
page survivin g from 1941 Berlin. Our s uffering would be 
resolved ih our» redemption , our personal redemption and the 
redemptiJn of the Jewish nation standing up to itä dedt^uction 


as if our world had been sane and under divine guidance. 

M mc cur 

The gap between^ ^personal and collective experience and the 

words that had guaranteed our or^er stretched thin until i± "^''"'^ 

snapped^^^ajfcd trht»s«_ silence|>-^eeamedeaf ening, voids without 

i ' 

structures. WE ha\& been left alone. 

Hut even if ;. beliefs had evaporated ,and man 
had become ^9N4i^ measure,our old guidolinca . as it were, fexäxgaxKSiä 
stayed intact in the humane ethics we became i^onscious of. 
All the victims who had disappeared from our Community when they 
were fiJTrced— to l o a v^rthej^r lAr^r es beh 4>»d j rt T cm thoy forccd L h e iu 
i:ti:aF3Fn-b d'epuLliny 4.hum ^w arr- n fil cnown fia-b o TnTEastern 

• ■■:! 



Europe ¥£.-CQu44-H=he>- t i m a gi ae- at th o tim c- they. had no 

\, 6 

less, me^it^jC^ to eeeap«-^^^ 


' ' » . . > 


tu Iri-^ th^n ourselves^ 

and -fe-he-f-eif vf^ - wejfe -*t>te fco -he lE/-.A«eng— feite — mai -l v i b whu . 

t -—.-_. - -"-^ Li 

walked witl:^open eyes into their destruction.' vta*^ men and 

women who ve^wtfe^i^Üy stayed on their posts/ior with the ir charges 
/and were murdered. That.-*-«*ew outsmarted the« andr escaped 
the common fate by a hair's breadth,did not jo&tii:^ triumphalism, 

'A^he enormity of the crime we later -.h- c dlleU 
the holocaust dwarfs the jubilation 




fxp^ Jwxra1c - G af ter 
wiggiing our way ;.through the line of German custom 

physical high dfee^t 

guardsl/to saf ety . i^^ 




the pressures f(Cl 

behind/l fake identity papers 

ft^-^ ^ro o d to hide 

had fooled fefoe SS and Ges tapo- 

patrols cliei^fci^^ papers li^^r the trains to the— ^ 

^r-aftti^ei^. At the time, we had only vague notions about the Nazi 

murder of our friends, our parents, German Jews, Europea n 
rx^%» patience^wTth amateur ethicist 



s who ascribed their 

f^A V 

own gui:lt feelings to any and all survivors. et^ lätters of that 

period speak of tbö-^d^ conteinpti| an d hatred ^^fewd f or etrr 
' ^-^^--^ in Germany 




tferr - - - n 4 . 

/si>e^^iH^!!rl!^^ helped US 

"HTtthe ChristianJ^German|i->"'for whatever motive 
considerable risks for their own freedom 

and safety^^:yeN& ^-l-rea^y- Pp ^ ^^ — ^ 
J 1^ attractiiKf of^'rr ijj^hw ^"^ ^ 


-IrtiriTtri^i ^ ~^h a t 

<yL/v\ v^^ feilte 

,1 nrlr nlT niiiuiiiuy into blazing 


,, ^.Ä collect^ve condemnations ^ ftlH Cvuci /^^^dW~ 'U)ß ^. iv) WO. 
1 / I rkr^; ^ ^^^ always liked writing letters because ikHXÄi:±iiKßxxxH£ 


|r))c^){.v. ^^/|^«i^' '^"" they afforded me the stillness and the concentrated silence 
J I of the mfT T m-T T Tyin ^dialogue that is letter-writing . Now that I 



to whom 
had lostthe friends I did not have to explain my circumstances 

because they were their circumstances, too ,my letters 

did what those long walks with friends and significant 

others used to do - escape the confusionsof the moment. 

Many of these letters survived in copies - my handwriting had gon^ 

gone from bad to worse when a sports-accident disloxcated 

^^^T^Jtger on my right hand^idiat was never quite the same after 

theoperation in the Wuerzburg xäNtiMÄSgifeai Juliusspital 

had set it back into its socket. Q^^efi ^dre preserved when 
I asked \0 ^^ 

/Lotte ÄR^xixäÄÄi^ÄÄ to marry me^d circumstances iKRäx&xx&K 

kept US apart for months e w*i*flb«f 


But even if our beliefs ina rational world order under 

divine guidance had been attenuated, the moral imperatives 

/ our »v/j 

we had been brought up gained, if anthing, more centrality. 

We of course never thought that surviving this insanity 

signified anyhting eise but^ raw coincidences . Not that we feil 

fpr the ^i^pä^stereotype of feeling survival guilt,the d/arling 

go no i^ pt of New York Psychiatric social workers. I did not feel 

f or 
more desereving oT being favored by all those seconds of 

advantages that helped us avoid capture more than once, 

the hair's breadth that separated life from death,the friends 

we had won and were still winning, the accidents that acquainted 

US with our helpers, the uncle ( Lotte 's) v/ho had settled 

KÄÄ used his resources and his cu nning 
in SWitzerland and Kxax«5^^«x«öifi^xs^xK$«x^g:5ix^;s^Köaxj$icjsj$4S^^y 

to help US now. It was d 

ue to Lotte that Is^kH5^v4rved'Vcööd At~ 

least a handful offellow Berlin Jews whHxwere able to make use 
of the same network^.g friend and fellöwi Student at the 
Academy h£ for Advanced Jewish Studies (Hochschule fuer die 
Wisenschaft des Judentums in Berlin ( U^^lMRMkx^x&ü^^xÜX^yix 

Wjtl88g«feMi€xSi8Sx5lJtii8M«ieÄ>tx crossedthe frontier with me 

on an identity card we had SHÜi^A^^^ ^o^ him from our so urce$, 

the guide who helped us and a score of other persecutees 
gMiÄÄiixfeXx5^MicxhH:ipKX , Josef Hoefler of Gottmadingen, a German 

viliage near Lake Constance^ was persuaded byLotte's uncle 

and aunt and by his Swiss wife, 3. deeply relgious church-g. oers ^ 

to take thr risk of helping böth of us. 





/IM» « /? 


The euphoria seized me as soon as I had reached 

ting S 

the forested triangle jut£^g into säX German ligiäx nomansiand 



iÄÄ moon-lit ni ghtx±HXDa±äKXi3^KKHxiSlt:2xxx ^in June 1943. I was alm 

most giddy with our suc cess,overw helmed by the jubilation that 

shook: me from top tobottom, feelings and thoughts run into one, 

balances i . . . 

the hard-won $^jcäsic of my 25 years of reserve, fdistance, the 

analyzed life of a Jew growing up in Nazi Germany reshäped by 

the emotional storm] that night. My memories were as clear as 

Nothing . . -. -, 

always. Mäxä^ appeared repressed. TJ^^ pictures of friends and 

mkv^ - Lo tte 'sx 

relatives, ''Tathfer and parelvts ' X idescribed them in my 


first volume - my seven years of life xkäxx^mSjc in Jewish 
Berlin - the teachers I was close to^my furni shed room - 



the men and women I had related to - studies and examinations - 
the intensively embraced life close to the black clouds that 
had made the times of our lives together so infintely precious. 
I had made it - ^'^^xSS^^xS^^ ^5^^^ f f t - me'avduth leheruth:^±Ä 
, ^ _- . elPtxKxi from slavery to f reedom, Egypt , the Red Sea dismissing 
' ^ US ai±XK in one pice, alivej I cannot say how long it$ lasted, 


U «'<-. 

/ j 

, — > 

when it changed into that multitfered £KH±±RxJfcHHSxxxx ambivalen 
nee over the gift of life^every Single one of those 
they murdered dserved^ "äs much as we . . f— , 

And I cannot say when the brittleness of our victory oy^e^ ^ 
•ysÄm had become MRfeKixKica&iHx the web of coincidences , accidents,| 
x^MjiXiäxxlaHXx stupidities, near misses that lodged in ourxxJfcxiaaK: 
stomachs or gave us ho t flSahes of panic over the thin ice 


ct\ CK 



that could have broken ^. at any moment . I had not spoken 

of my youth in Germany for a half Century: survival pain. 
Lotte and i - we had married in 1944 in Bern - 










pn December 1, 1943,. I arrived "at Bern Bahnhof/ 
■ glowing /.with expectations . The evening before, a group 
of close Oöaieeades had sent me off in a small p^rty that seemed 


to sum up nr^ life in labor canp Sierre : the|^!^/' annoyances that had 
^the surface of our daily lives ragaaarfcibiQ — gH^^=vp°rtT- ^n w n ¥^m Hr t^ "»^"^^ the 

[inifjnanr annMm>^:vg^aafele frictions among agroup of-jiiiejr^orced to ii\fe 

proximity. Th^irj iHistrust -'v^iat did you do that], 
fe ff - was mitfed w 


in Ber}'j n? 1 

v^^en they understood. Not that "7 

feit like telling tjjfc^m my story^^" frtiy memories were all to^raw for words. 

I kould wait fifty years b-eforewriting down ^at could be toM.^v^^^tsa^f-.Mjfe^' ' 

But I ' lyihnyrrfJMiaflwiJiiiffi^fliaBa^y^ been 'anextenjhsion of. my years of 


ifCPCfeaiiLy äfeTQie Jewish youth movement^ I remained 
v pr] ii. af an some of the more physdcallj ddnanding j^: 

calm; I 

I h UV 

'/i wrote letters (in Gemnan) for them, a few disco^vered that I could 

tfiey ]^ß. voted me 
had asked ''cbo be tranf srred to ^i, more demahding but independent 4öb 

teach them Hebrew ^lijlhey 1:^ voted me "leisure time dir^ctor"i^»«i I 


I I 

outs ide,_the carrp^the director vetoe§-ife -and assigned me,|an Office job 
/i/i/;Wi,ii^' obviously aware of iny potential\ liaison benef its ;'«bb tensions builtup^ 

fei-; urban Jewsfeih 




M f ^ r 



O/N - 


demandsand grievances. ^ 
I suffered like the othersAwith one exception: I was . in lov^'witfe«4^^g:^r 

in Lamsanne ^e® see^ier/ and I yy 

saw ny 

canptime as rj&xEisK finite,not indefinite a 

as they were forced to see 

theirjiftW/iM&iitiift* lifiked^to the end' of /? -^ war that would drag 

out for another tJvo years Bk ^ith Lotte ' s hqlp I was isteg'^^e pppoirtunit' 

Y\ b \Aj ^Ä.oJ r^ lU 
the Swiss Police Department in Bern 
lok\\\\j<^ iL — ^ — f \ \ ]/\v(!,^ 

)'bvtheir : studies . "■ " 




t :1 ruf - o ß 

Cl S ly/ O; v'W ||^(^ 


> t« 

His factual knowledge result of a lifetime pf diligence 
and notetalinifgs ot the issue. I neever thought I could correct him in< 
[^ detailk owe fjim a tact-filled time -map of European /politics^ govreniiK 
history, .When I teVt Bern filled with informqation. fo; " ' 
both written and oral,,I wga had some eneygilgapeA^ know 


e of some o 

Nwef's sfavorite subject. Jljt was easy: he offered a four-ss^mster 
4 L/ y,ij! course on puro'peär^^ history /international^ 


' iBpee comprairateivei^ His ciJre thoughts revolved around -he organizatipi 
of governmental jpowerin a model progression tho^-i allowed h m to n 
measure deviations, typologically. His was by far the most intellecyii* 

course, hejsawfetate pofe'er in Eur^pe/, Tfie stages of a european 
goverbmental constituyional formsi power as legtimlate authoriti 

' 4 


\if ^ a scheme reangin^ f rom feudalism and its 
/fU/^i^^ Q replacement by estate and 

monarchical poers, rrom there to the several forms of/absolut^^^fes^e 
power Centers - enlightrened absol9tism, the Staendestaat, the rise of 
countervailing bureaucarcies, . the trend in absolutism to anticipate 
features of the^^^^tion^^^i^;^ ^^^^ '^^^^^ 

the e»%ree- - • ■ - — 

then 19th Century and j&Tt-^\ More anon. 

February 3 2002, 

^^ \ . 

\ ^ In 

// // 



The mo 

^t tempting design in a biogra^hy like mine is ^ -oour^e 

th^ progr-ss t^^-m^|changes in cultural identity. The bro^adesj{^t 

of (hese would have been from pre-modern countryjew orthohraxy 

tomodern forms of Jewish idq^t^ty like ethnic or national, 

in f act the destruction of the old ancien yregime in my Community 

of Jews on the way - not tp the bapistyml flönt äff Rosenzweicifc. ^ 

g l J.ked__to^ßkeJ^^^ the entir/e process of modeÄization 

as part of Ö^e mo^^in ^Western world. This process was of course in som( 

ways independent of Nazi intrusion:. My family straddled the pre- 

and the post- modern, ""pre/in its orthodopraxy . ^post/in mt f^ßier's marri^ 

age with a C^atholic wonian who conerted to t^fe ^ims of Judaism while 

maitaining Catholic''fee:|ÄiL^»*=Hrowar^ piety. I hav attemfjed to desrcibe 

this in my autobiograJshy where it* suggested itself as an or,gan- 

izing principle of my life:to be continuity it^M^^j^^Öit^ie ,the mode 


I ' 


with the premodern, a coexdst^nce, a conflict, a fusion, a 
consciousnss: i^ culture combined both, especially the 


j Vi(fi4<.2 


2a my experiences in ^Ete peresecutd!i>)^ntV 
axperT«*ce^- Community ^J^edJyDat^lpn, social life, v'S^^EägazÖT i^ 
dl^cultural and behavioral features. 

I U>^^ y?P^°^^y talkÄfabout it: ijoth the Jewish and the non- 
Jewish envifinment plja^cecl v^lue on;/n.ooking Jewish" or "non=Jewis 
ish".THe physiologcal image of "Jewish looks" , sports, dress, 

right into my NY experiencöl did not "look Jewish" 

the mantra became a source of deep amby^alencein my Jewish environ- 

I would not have ti^velled around Berlin for 6 months withou 
yalid i& papers if l had notnrelied on the German stereoype of 
hoüf »a Jew is supposed to look^sand^actThe feoblem of "modernization" 

also Germanization eg in the Gya^s^asium: 

believe/^thatylt w^s tota 
Goffi]^n-sty/e in'sightS; 



^HdtölS great fi 

agues/ don 

th describing: 
the quality of lata emancipated life in^Germany blending into 
Nazism while Jewish cu^tural public life followed its own paTh to m( 

^^^-^^^^-^on. The other was the overwhelming experience of witnes participant .-observer rhe decliw^nd fall of a civilization 

il \yjD'tvLXi/a 

hdsurvival of pre-modern elementj^n the) 

• 1 ^^^ ji 


ief strucure of Germa'n Jews, 4^^ ^^eatire cult4}repe4.sij and G 
German^ aa* tradtional and modern /^that was destroyed. s4nce it 
was part of tha larger German culture - How did the process of dest 
o5ii5,y-°^ P^"^t^^te this Community in its special form of Southgerman 
I ^ «crural orthdo^rxay - and then : hLoW^^dis the doomed face their 
rn^ ; is^^^^^^^^rntt^nce of course wds ^'^in th^Ä^^gtliity 
of this minority Community^ -k, iho,^ I */, ^ (/M «f »ia< Ak^/ ^'^^•j/- 



On June 13, 19 43, around midnight, I crossed over the stati 
State frontier from Germany to Switzerland. The Swiss arrested me a 
at# the frontier. For seven months, until December 1, 1944, 







I w^siconfined to a/fetatejprison 

Schaf f hau seny, a military 
quarantine (reception) ckUpl^..^ by a öti^'^Ä^^middle-age/l 
rservists that included some women ( a new experience for me). 
and a labor camuin the Rhone Valley near Sierre in the.Canton of the 
Valais. I had arrived quite euphoricf^^ in Switzerlanc^^mie^-^ 

being deported to Eastern Europe where my life would have ended, 

1ioF~Beaau s e we knew details about the ongöingTröTocaust but bj2^<:evm>^*A 

^ what /ew/ knew -Aworked to death under beastly conditions - ^ , 

Gärman concentration camps oi the pre-wi p'eriod . The füll impact of t| 

this supreme irony did not reach my emotionHixixf s since the "social 


trauma" of being persecuted, defamed^exposed to rowdyism,ifejfeBiKÖd into 
homelessness and hiding, the vigil^^ce of a fugitive in a police 
State, trav^elling undetected and avoiding the f rentier guards — 


had imposed a 

1 j_i^had, 
k on me that 

•'N ^.>vi;v i wr- 

I hinted at it in the biography 

Decome ^ iy y^» ^ ,^ ^ 

i.(?/i(."second nature^ 9Tf<p^ook tÄ to shakeV Y^s^lDasii^T^^^StlMÖP^^ 

utterdi^t£u^t^_ac to flee if 

the need erose, alarm stages ^rft-^^^ gfeae t wi -bl ^ ' 

even if their jrank was low as indicated by 

had been popuj^ated by all kinds of uniforms even in Civil Service occu- 

pations not connected with the military/ jJi^'" the Nazi party,or ^he po = 

lice.Already in my childhood I had trained myself to imagine /a /threat= 

ening gjsxsHK uniform (Hd^theschool janitor or the rotund traffic cop 

hte uniform - Nazi Berlin 

, aa^ m h-s=B nightshirt^ 

in my neighborhood -) without kis uniform 

But in years of Nazi control the ploy did no^t work very well any longer 

My alarm system/Aored'^'the flight reaction ^ftl^^^^^^j^^ ^^n ^^v-hcn thKxSK 

two Gesfcapo policemen had stopped m^when I visited a Jewish friend 

in Berlin whom they^^^i^MüMü^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ arreest ^^.^^ ^ ^^^ 

come for a bed and some breakfast to his place in Berlin. 

There was something rather incongr; uous about the guphorii 

tha\- iij.^xiu. J.11 umiic:. ocxiiy d iiuiue±eös TugiTive rieemg 

, the mask of otherness, being "in f light" , f acing chaos, total uncertai 

tainty, all human relations over an abyss wh^re all rules were "off" 

~ now one of the last free countries of Europe imposed^^^^eVtralnts 

on US - priGon, camps , quarantine, life by military rote, internment, 

police controls. Jews in EDuropejfor centuries had been citi^wellers , 

:?iljwas seized by when the ^^ressures p ^- l if o i n hiding dropped off 
.t night in June. Being a homeless fugitive fleeing for dear life"^ 




even if their "shteJJ Had been villages ür " Judendoerfer" , as 


: cd most German Jewish habitats^af Jer the later Middle age?, and 

followed the lo|wer Gemswreiai-^HXKdKSx their rulers or neighbors 
had allowed them to pursue. Now Swiss officials pxESKxibKdx con- 
centrated tjasm in the rural countryside.Working the land,. -buildinq 
roads,would acccstom töSn to labor that would ease ^»ir later 1 
li|^ in emigration^ -Ihc ir oUi^'^Jj^fJ J[/i ^^^/- {/Y -JäU^^ fc ^h Jhrf 

Certainly, work camps even for older men and women 
had been built in other Western countries when immigration 
appeared to risebeyondHbtesi^quotas. Knots of refugees congregating 
at railroad stations , or .public Squares, apparently unem- 
ployed and living off the süMS^food fec^ resources of war-time 
Switzerland were liable to activate hidden anti-Jewish sentiments 
and right-wing reactions , tx At least one documents qi*eii«»^^.Y -[j^/i 


govrnment debates on labor camps revives that hoary self-serving 

anti- Jewish sentiment of the peasant against the burqher. 

No wonder that by 19 44 the camp direct-m?^ in 

Zuerich anticipated rebelliousness among their charges in camps ^ 
ae^had to use police to quell frictions between local ruffia/// j^ 
and internees chafing against the indeterminate sentence they 
served doingwork they considered useless for the'^'^for^ the 
Swiss economoy. The end of the war seemed as yet far off/as was 


part of these forced js 

My own conditio(^n during the.six months I was 


^1 efforts differed 

from this description^ in several significant respects. As the 
euphoria of being saved by so many lucky hair=t^Öi'^Äscapes 

as yet overdetermined the mcmory - ^ r fears we had for the . 
lives of the »Jewish community^and cur friends in Berlinjlcep^ 
afive a deepeniggg gratitude for having survived. Switzerland/ 
by l'Oeing there'^ saved us .The yjf^Swisi' could do no ^'-"ong^ feit 

sympathy and warmth, even the somewhat rough-hewn /xv ^er leiter 
could be made to understand our Situation. Lott^ c^y her family 
Q^^H^'^^^''^ ^n""^^^ :^ja3CXHS to Wie civilized world of ^cortesy, art, 

ho^spitatity^sociability/ ( Ludwig, her uncle, had 

,€a with 

IImLW^^ h(f>s savings from Berlin tojfswi1:zei-'lan^ . Most impoi-tantly , i 

^(^ited the earliest opportunity to apply to the proper "aKen police"! 

m the Bern TS^iSsiEsr ( Polizeiabteilung ) for a leave f rom 
Sierre internment camp to continue my int^rupted studies wihh 
a degree program in modern European hi^toryat Bern University, ■■• 
, i [S:r^ ''°^^^ ^"^ ^ visited the Deanj,ffi Bern^^Pr^^e^or Fritz Strich and left 
yy with near assurances that I would be accepted for a Ph D program.)Q 



Camp would not be indefinite. But although I did get morose 

^^ ■ - ■ - f d^ 



and angry^at being forced to live in' a collect/ve not^y choO'.,ingt, 
I found a function for myselfin assisting my fellow internees to work 
for their early liberation- writing German'^let&%" counselling on ; 
Channels they might use,mediating disputes with the camp director an d his 
staff (other re:^gee internees).! also took a band in the leisure time 
program sponsoed in camps by the Young Mens' Christian Association 
(YMCA)/ A MOST BENEFICENT VOLUNTARY group of Swiss Citizens # I volunt- 
eered to teach Hebrew, and lecture on Jewish politics and Zionism;« 
Authur Emsheimer , a German-Jewish lawyer who had been a district' attorney 
in German town close to the frontier ( Loerrach) , persuaded m-to l^'^ffe'^ 
1/' /- V j^lWhis Position - leisure time director, a voluntary Job' -. i was elected 
,^V.CA^^^ä_s_eryeä the last six weeks of my stay in Sierre, putting on some cUo^'^ 

^■recital./^ .-. in a backroom of a hotel in Sierre. 

Arthur was one of i^he more unusual friend I had won in Sierre- 


1^ K,ü»H0ivl ... - 

Jhe most lasting^experience I took away from camp sierre 
was a new appröciation of what my mostly Eastern-Jewish /ellow-inter- 



ne^tal/ght me about myself . The camp-hiT^i^n the fi^^ occa^ion in my 
years involvement i^ Jewish life to be in close daily contact with 
llT.T j"^ ^-"--^tion immigrants from an Eastern European countr..' 
s^ had beer^neighbors to an Eastern-Jewish group in my hometown^ ' " 

\/V v'*^» ^ '^''1 

^t^peciaUy liked by^our parents' generation - fu.^-^^^^^ 

lbu^_wS.^ their childrp,-.,«^/*« the same JEW9H SCHOOL 

tc„n, #,en xn state-Vide<^ccfeiLts^Ä'avariaT: Most pf the^hildren had 
come from poor, a divislon between e.bourgeoised families and crude 
aggressive and sometimes loud»/,uthed behavior had appeared even in the ' 

192os= in real life bu^iness and religion appeared to „orlc towards coope,- 
eration and therec'ognition of the kind ofj^iSlitie^ German-Jewish 

^- . ^. - ^ ^^^apegoating and 

fmgerpointing mechanisms. 



After I had^moved to Berlin in 1936, one of lay teachera^ at 

(^ ideologies like socialism or Bundism formed walls between religi 
and v^volution.*! Still. I had lived in a German-Jewish System 
of institutions even when I had profited a gooi. deal fromx^. 
the e^dition of Easterb -Jewish teachers and colleagues without 
who m Wi ss en schaft des Judentums would have dried up for lack 


pVOitci. £)e|5^V)^; 

^ yA\cr^' 

(blfiat culturaMsröffi^^^^T/^ The large well-acculturated core of Berli 

Jeii^,ry*till rested oh the deep roots of *ts cultj^re in Eastern 

/ '' J 

Europe. ioM*^^ 

What was new/^bout the camp Situation was that "they", 

mostly second-generation immigrantsXisja ^he cosmopoleis of 

^d ^yTleculHHized formj|of fc'r^ 



r self-understanding and their 

Personalities but had projected only scraps of Jewish content 

(like orthodox upbring lingl or attempts to«^ create modern forms 

of t-W-e-^-^artti . Moses Sister had called my u-M^rr^^^^^-^^i^m^pure romanti 

ticism; and it may well have been so given the ^ '' ^' ü^o^ ^^^^^.y,tj 

combative realfties of Eastern- Jewish social, y economic' and 

intellec .tual^^©üt.:^;,^^t^ divisions. They did nc 

camp^ if I disreagard thelijtixation on my "non-Jewish loo^s^^that 
Via^^v ^/ 1 

served ,.^ to abreact the helplessness they : - and most of us - feit 

/AI yne j 

when {^fe faced^ brüte Nazi power and ^^rutality of their death culture, 

^ow^;^ was made the butt of ^rather vicious name- 

in the 

I have described how I 


callijp!}g when I agipKHXKä 
how pigheaded 


those camps,and 


they learned 


ed and crudelb unjust they had givän/rlin to their un, 
emotiones - as if berat ing me ease^ what I recogniz( 

ana]j^lyzed cnn^uxuirö - ab ±jl oerax: mg me easeca wnar i recoqnize our 


Vn C 

common pairi and helplessness. As if hating everything German or Ger- 
man Jewish and spinning a verbal culture of hatred was not a"life 
giving lie" a Lebe nstuege to which few of those I met had a ricrht O^ 

^ttl e d .^e -right into my Years of enduring the lowbr "ow 
envy o(f the negatively privileged. . . 

Förget about the future: there in 1943i;n Sierre, within the 
four months I was inter ined in this camp,I won the trust, maybe the 
sympathy of most of those I came in contact with^ I believe -because 
nobody could see ulterior mot*ves in my helping whoever came to see 
me and asked for it. I began to trust the first "others" again, 
to understand the style of Eastern-Jewish wisdom,^umor born of 
powerles;sness,debunki]>cobceit, sharing fKKÜK^x ironies, laughter 

February 9 02 


seif mockery, the crocodile's tears that make all serfpity 
appear inadäquate as a way of dealing with l^itionstruous reality/ 
y J^ 0«^ h ^ Easter«n Jewi^h foR/'traditions appeared as the only appropriate 
\ ^.^^<i .;-■;" way ^deal 



^.v^ ^ 

b. fy^ST' 

th it without being crushed by the weight of 

.Jyfll round my own long-sl-agdi^-^^ iPr ^=^^^^^ 
or Nazi b^uster and blusterei^' - I . . 
^JLniSiäences and. , absurdities xh ?)Hbq Nazi pomposity 
\p^ and found ^.^(^ifril'liTdLiui:^ fifcr my own moc?cery 

^, 0,1. l^'f/' &i2^iimne,nse 

xmn trfie way my fellow internees. in camp SIERRE dealt with 
our feeia^ m near-prison^ iin the f reest countryjin ware-time 

\\\^l\< CO^^\^(^y/^fC Europe.^^was a liberating exp^rience like seeing Charlie 

^ Chäplin'^in "the Dictator" or^vlearning of Spiegelman's Comics 


on concentration camps. I lejft the camp with a renewed sense ofl 
Community and comradeship an(i^,promised myself to remember that 


what I thought as mu own personal defense^ had iMwii^y been cultu| 
ralftraits of "my'' peopler the peculiar forms of Jewish humor 

and its sensitivities honed Sm centuries of defences against the 
drunk<2rfflDrutalities of Eastern-European^g öe iJ^ e s . Now^ as I left 
lafe)or c amp Sierre, I feit stings of regret and nostalgia about 
l©aving the protect^ve cover that had been creating a new sens? 
of comradeship with people I had come to like as I came to unders 
stand how close my historic experience " ' . ^ i^ 


Saturdsay 2/9/02 





On December 1, 19 43, I was A^ai^SeÖ from labor Sierre, 
for " a term of study at the University of Bern ". The train ride 

from Brig through the Loetschberg tunnel to my-Tiew domieiie /\\A 
was br eathtakingly beautiful, all circ^mstances combined to make 


of vacationing in Switzerland.«B the beginning of a ^-^ew life. 

arewell from my friends among the interned 

rejirttW summarized my gratitude for what ti 

the warmth 

I had taken w 


they Uc^J ^' . y^e^^A 

bdjLBlJlit mepacross all our cultural differences, 

and wisdom of Eastern-Jewish culture as we slowly grasped the 

depth of the abyss we had escaped. Their friendship and their 

SAibtle tact conveyed to' me that I hadfaced the challenges 

of our forced spatial closeness in ways they hdd found he^ful 

to the Community, as we defused the pains each of us had to 
cope with when we left relatives and friends, all those Ato us . 
behind. The paradox had come to an end that I had fled f rom ithe 

anarchy of living outside the law - Nazi law-y 


a lawless 

Underground existence where discovery would jmeanilikely death, 

n^j^j^ \\^ \ U W 


and had escaped to fxHs Switzerland whose friendly 

uniforms cQirry iiRj.^giiiEgVLad sealed me off from civil life by putti 

V) (Kr/ ' vand / 

me behind the piwes of a prison>»*fe a ]|flxii±Hxy quarantine camp 

guarded by the military, finally a labor camp whose forced col- 
lectQve ^ used 

as unskilled labor for ÄxiKgis menial tasks under 

lose controls. i do not believe any of my comrades mindMß tke 

^l^^vb-c^ d pa r- t - what irked us was that ^s^Nurban group like 

US -üd a4Dci < gn e d labor/ suita 



table for a/rural group. 




^% ^ 


In the Summer of 19 43, iotte 


found sh^lter on SWiss soll from certain extermination 
at the band of the Nazis, Lotte at the beginning of May, 
I in the middle of June. We had lived Underground in 



Berlin for seven months, in flight from deportation j^UlA^ 


^y-r^ jto an SS execution sitK in Eastern Europerthe train isHäxH^ with 


791 Berlin Jews leaving Berlin on October 26,1943/ that 
carried Lotte 's a.ginq parents and would have incuded us^ 


was destined fx the forest of Salapils, near Riga in. 


Latvia, XhKxs^ GxJ^Trifan SS trooDs cgand 

LneaA^«fii»ii ' "ITiT' - iiie rrtas J^ grave 

dug f^r them by Russian p risoners-of-wa 

for victims still showing iiigs of life. 


hots in the neck 


In Berlin we had 

run away when the 

)14 ' JJ^ 

Nazi Secret Police Gestapo had come to pick us up in the g^j cly 

'jäi^^Sü-g -apiä^t m o a to . That we survived in hiding 

and escaped 

o Switzerland we owed not merely to 
incre^dible luck and hair-raising aCV1( 1 bh% 3 but also to 

the help of friends and acqu * ixitances , Christians and Jews, 


German and Swiss, konservatives, 

ThaL wid sLiuve --^fee r e ayh Switzerland was no, 

Lotte 's mother tj^i^e^- uncl ^^and his wif 

socialistS;'€»: Communists. 

• r 

r » 


ident^ A brother of| 
e owner. ' 

•yof a) Berlin 


specialty störe r had been admitted to residence in Lausahne h 

in the mid-].930s aÖlBf saving some of hiss fortune. He had 

found ways to lii e ait German mail censorhip and communicate freily 

with US in Berlin: A /friendj fe4ifciy-..4iarf- mi^üQ served as a delegate ; 

Genera ' ^ 

of the ^fNternational Red CRoss in Berlin during the war 







ii 1^/ 

■\r 1: 

became a vital link in hfac - LQuoanne unLle ' g efforts 

to creatr? a network of Swiss and German/ helpers. Switzerland 

ü Western- / 

of course^ hadfbeen the only( European HSK|iibXHix neutr al 

sharing a land frontier with Germany after the fall of France 
in 1940. 

Switzerland also had for eenturies giveVi shelter to 
fugitives from celigious , political, or ideological oppression 

in other European countries. i^fc^^ä-l^ts abstention 
from th^qüH^^dEei^^ around it^internationally. recognized in the 

^ \\ _ z>iyj 

formula of ^^neu trality^ ^<säl»i^ -J^fe^i^öd-^ epiJb«cc€^--gince the 16th 
Century even as j^ landowners rented out their peasants as 
«oixüer^ and waxed rieh on the proceedsjjf. It strengthened t-his- fV 
image by identify^ing its political ethos with numerou? 

• rl • /L)y* 1 T ■ ■ I I ■ f 

\ I 


I. . ;1 




J^4k^sjhä r7^0th eia n^te^y international^^ 
from the Red CRoss of Henri Dun ant 's to the League Nationa 
of the 1920s and '30s. The country became the travel paradise of 
bourgeois Europe, from honeymooners^^ 






And Ud ^jb 


/%t^J^)(\<^^-^^ modeis of successful federal and paliamentary democracy, Ok.(^ 


"^he co-exis.t^nce -of nat 

Y/ W*^ v*^'» ^ c 


German^l;*-*^ " ^' 


i it 



French and 

between -Catholic^and pRotestant5dojAiiarL_cej^ crG had buen ^J^y^"^ '' '^^ 
f (Might ~=»*^ Jrn"-ephempra1 sk 



^ \ 

" — b ^orc thQ middle --Qf^ 
_ ^t had become gi;g_JBiima B g^ Russian 
MÄiSSi and women students, Zionists, German socialists, Polish 
freedom f ighters,even of Deutschkatholiken who had rejected 
papal infalllbbility .and set up a theological faculty for their 
anti-authoritarian creed — f^^^^=^f^^^::^::^:^::»^^ ^i^-^^ ^^.r.^^^ 

Of course 

Lotte and I had only v 


' ' . /^v 


r ■w I 


> ■■ .^ 

and senitmentj for the 

"model democracy" south of the German border - she had enjoyed 

some feki vacations in the Bernese 9E(erland before the war. I 
had neve;^ ^been. abroad before this moment, an uncle of mine had 
married a" ^wiss\iÄl^who left him behind ina French concentration 

c amp when Swiss mtervenation s&t her ^ y *^ ^ in about 194 1.. . 

Our escape from Berlin had btung Lotte ' s Swiss uncle into the 
action that now saved our lives.She wasyjfreed from internment in 
a labor camp and permitted to work as a household adüand 
nanny in Bern until she was able to study laboratory analysisf 




at a school in Neuchatel and accept a job as a labojtory aid(^f^'( 
in a Bern hospit al . 

1f> "^ \^ ^ SS 

My own ee urse ' through prison, quarantine c«a3^/ and 
lebor campibecame entirely routine once the Canton of Schaf fiÄausenl 
had decided to recommend my colleagu:^e Lutz Eh/iich 
( with whom I had crossed the frontier) and me for a federal , 
grant of asylum,while we were still in Ufee cantonal W'^' ^^ 


a few days after our arrival and detention.That I had escaped fro 
'feÖS Nazi tje j£.ror pnl i » ?» to free SWitzerland filled me with a/^ / 


"enptToria, a boyish feeling of exuberance . It d«iiiii3*^<i my 

emotional condition even after I began to öfefeHfebfex absorb the 

jTT^^y trickling into public co«nciousness 
informationifiScaiiÄiHKä from public and private sources 

as the war proceeded. T' iTnmiimil i\\ my reactions to the unique 
natural beauty surrroun^ing me on train rides, walks and 

mountain hikes, HHiä to the civilized/elegance HHdx 
of the ^old quarters of Bern and other eitles, to the charms 
of the French I was all ears to hear inbities like laiisanne 

or Neuchatel where Lotte lived at different times durimg these ,, 




> r't , 


xHXEExyE^xsxxHxthEXKHHKixyx jpt niigl2> have hean^,^ a dormant 

the Strauss 
memory of my early yo|ruth^\^Jfhen KiHxxBMXxfamiS^ spent their 

Summer vacations in the Eavasman Alps.It certainly was ±kK an 

almost second youth^^s^hKxfKKÜH^xHfxfeKXH^xxxKbBxx^xthat free 

Switzerland raised m me and ^ga^ve ^a?r many smmer and winter vacati 

tionsAin the SWiss mountains / a timbre of its own when we travelle( 

from New York to Eürop^^ TfonTthe 19 60s or. The sense of having 

been saved W^ükx mhäk was suf f icientLy strong to tie 

me over the i^ovi fihl p„ annoyance5fI f-r-equenti^ tielt in 



prieon ,4a«d| in y internment in quarantine /add labor campifc. 

I was able to seeLötte ön ! kgox the regulär leaves aJ.lowed by 


able to makei'Jdirector Smess understeee that I was on my way 

out of camp ms^ thi study leave I had applied for./ XkxsxMEisäü 

ßif Feeling assured of the future , buoyed by Lotte 's liveiy 

letters, my sense of moving ahead must have been contagious 

even friends not as boyishly cheerful 


enough to affect 

as I must have been. 


Äfhe three years that began with 

dominated by my ^ 
imprisonment and camp internment were ^E)xxhhh]^hxh1s.kxki¥ det^'minatii 

oüv \ > vi} 
tion to rebuild Ä^t. lif^ and not to give "Hitler" ^iksxdKXixBjcKX 

. r^.^ V L the ^ 

the p"posthumou^ saifac^tion" of having dstroyed »yxsense of \\)\\^< 

continuity I 


to - "make real" "leallzü", j^^^r^/J 

even in the stra^ightened cücumstances of my camp life, even 
as the news of the destruction of the Community of European 
Jews filtered through the Swiss Information blackout of 
those years. 


from internmei^ -^or the 

as relea 

■^Jl^my tima^thÄ^^e, 





WöVY|l\ party given\ by 

When I was released from camp after a i^ouojajjftg f arewelT] iaxKiyx 

fcomrades and fr-iends 

I wäfe not ^ xXxjcHSxiH 

HHä bxHäiK^xRiKxtH to tHHvel beyond the city limits ,report 

each week to the local police Station, observe a curfew of 

10 p.m., deposit all my (non-existent) wealth with ^bank ander 

federal control, not to enter the labor market even for volun- 

! tary (unpaid) work, refrain from (poltical and other) activit- 

ies and generally do nothing that mighfref lect adversely on S 

Swissforeign policy or neutrality . I also declared that I would 

leave the country when I completed my studies or ran 

out of funds, whichever came first. In 1945, I siqned a 5 l ukI^o^c 


second declaration of/viNtention to leave the country sent to 

me by the Federal pOlice Department in Bern. Clearly, they 

M "^ Lotte and 

did not want refugeesto outstay their welcome. I would 

leavey^for the a ^i^ t USA in Qe]btember ' /oc tober 1946/ 

None of the police rules turned out to be irks ome. It 

might of course have hfeen h£lpful to augment 

in BernY" 


skimpYo^lowance ((we married ^feir~March~~24 , IS^^jt^^xflx 1944)7 ^ ^ 

one of "^he 7 ^^ 
by taking OHXHsxihe «^Ry Jobs 

V\ (W'-'f ^c^^^^ic World or in Publishing, rTectu] 

instead of 



(Ti^^ ^teaching Hebrew classes^ j||ssisting i«t än^excavatioi^ at a lovely 



;c ^ ' 

)^^^'^ Swiss lake ( Aeschi See^near Herzogenbusch BE) for two summers 

offered no platform to launch professional life for a newly 
minted Dr^phil^in history... Except for the wAly signing 

Session at the Cantonal ^Police 
"^xkem-^ecr^ intended ij . 





_ m Bern or 
ences, the rulesfell into disuse^ a semmar 
prize (1945Kand the arcKaeÖlogical. work made the "unidentified 
alien/^"Schriftenl9^e Ayslaender") inj— t iiiiflümur 'i.JjJ,^..!^ 




< l 

Most of the rules that had loomed so large ^ wfeßn the police 

had impressed them upon me . as I was leaving the internmÄnt 

camp orbit and became a "foreign sfludtent" . toek^on the 

as time went ony^^ 
signif icance of traf f ic rules^ The police and the men and 

a r 

women with whom tiß ctizen dealswith routinely in his daily 

turned from ^otentiäl ihxKHixHxxenemies into 
affairs w«K8x]5«K«»iiK^ fmnctionaries doing a job , paid to be 

friendly and helpful, playing their roles, losing the threatl^^^^llj^ 

before I had escaped.yi-^o my 

great surprise^ I had become "shy " .distrustful , I did not J-^ ^^^ 


that had dominated ^aily 


appF^^ricete talk-äft«fr about myCself and my experiences, and did not 
seek to explore that neutral sphere of small talk and gKsiKrKS 
friendly gestures that I needed to reconnect with the world 

around me. It would take 

years and 

seif- analysis 

in Bern and later in New York to build down the ingrained 


mechg^^nisms I had needed to surviv e in Germany gf abuve dJJ.,j 
tÄ m^r famifily and TTtjt.-'^love for "' --n- . ._^ 

h^ intensifyigcr circ.T^j^ of 


afe Wy sense of seif reestablished __^' degrees of involvement with 


■ HHrg 


fear,'>^E!' times even panic, v»^ disappearing. 

around m^ f röih" which the ever-readiness of 



Still, it took a long time before I andmay be Lotte ilearni 
to integrate t:rhe grief we were hb)x bui^säjag in our emotional life 
during these Swiäs years with the flow of emotions that made 
upour daily lives. 

It helped greatly that we were not i 

waiting for plolitical normalcy andreturn to the homejand^ From the ^ö- 

du-siag my firat gfet-acquainted visit .:. ^h J. in 

Jewish , 
Nellie Bollag's social Service office in thec congregation, ^^ Kapellen 


Strasse, the -(-fiejöL) profeösionals/ dii'ecting congregational 

business befriended LOtte and me, and^asked me to take 

pairt in their work.Nelli^ Bollag and the rabbi, Eugen Messinger, 


together with their spouses , zeugen' s father and mj:her, who 
had themselves been immigrants from the Auatrian Empire 


\^ iitry^ 

and had founded the short-lived Messinger rabbiical "dynasty" 

'^''^, uYi>r< in Bern^ IfeÄäpaiae what I i fGjI3? y did not have since I hdd ^^'j 

?£^L.-I> !n " — '^ ^-^^-U^-^--H^r-- — ^^nd in^^n ^r^-^n^ 

^ / ' V Wuerzburg in 1935, a warm family and a ''professional/^ 

1 j./ . ilinked with my Beriänstudies and experiencei^ Eugen opened his 

\i'^\;.i>^^ J\^C,^^J,\ ^^eligiouslj^ ^ "" \ a^^ , o L 

4 ^ fivvvl house for our\ weddin^eremony on ''March 24, 19 44 -^"nelpipig us ks 


i±XE tj^&öugh the h?tf^^ melancholy ^^^Kj^^^cs??- cur |f;Q4&X 


(? om 06/r \\ iäölation fronTlitohK fearents/ while Nellie Bollag shed / tear 


'6> . 


^ Mrs/Messi 

H(j "ll^U^ i^ö'./^S^^^'l- i have XKraaiHKä prcious in our memori^iT AmkS kxM^sxnger 
oVk</\ *^ /^v'M' Wir riraditional FRidav evenina mealr 


I felLcuite happy that I was able to reciprpcat^-T^e kindnessT 

•8x ""traditional FRiday evening meal/'fpr u% and our three guests.7 

'j^y^ v)s 



before I lef . Bern two years later: i wro^e reviews; and.mistoric 

3 s «^^^aiESz^Ä-, 


served on a three-exper.t \cominittee ' "* 
to admit Swiss women he had Ttau^lii" to the Jewish XKHiiiKi 
faith - shades ofmy mgther's stofy « - /\taught Hebrew classes 
and history in his adultjeducation rrnjifTTjjfr 7. n^ travelled <ßrß/I\ 

to London wi*ird*im in July 1946 to attend the first post-war 
meeting of the Union for tRogressÄVe JfUdaism and celebrate 

p could not /^elp him tp 
^ 9vercome the trggedi|built imto his life:hfe:j^ha(fi .(bfet^Hi:ifS^'"'a^^ 

when a brother 
( whoiri the father had ^iCu^d^^^^ to succeed h^imjdied prematurely . . , 
Wej3^^spent many happy reunions on our Eurd/pean trips after 

U.ey^.£c.Trc.r:b>üL^^M,^^ ^^^ accepted^ th^ rabbinical ^ulpit 

w^ had settled in New Yor 

e toiDk ^iis D Wft- 




THEN, in the igeOsfNhe suffered a'/breakdowiV^ on his pulpit, 

—*————— — Jig^^^ J.KXHK \ [\ i. j. r 

an ambarrassing incidentj, on the highest Jewish holiday in -'' 

tion. ' Mon 

Hionths of therapy 


füll view of his congrega 
a new craer as a äournalist/edtior with one of the major Bern 
Newspapers, bMi-Ste enddrfVhis ^^ life by his own hand, mourned by his 
many triends, a gentle and sensitive man,.^p52Sre«*^ unable to cut 
through^^g conflicts^He had no longer been able to transform \Vos^-- 
mto the- quiet h^lpfulness ahdlthe giftxfßjx ^^rtp^^g-hipg that ^öppsyi 
"■^""^^ wrrr n nj-'nfro n q n n ourr h to 


natural limits of his life. 

A - 

- *♦ 





Quite different from this unexpected anchor in a 

' I 


resembling my home Community socially if not culturallv 
y1 orr ^pir^t^^r^rii^ l-^i^xx was trilingual cosmopolitan Switzerland -agains 

4-^^^ ' several parts of Franconia ( 'PnssfidaBas^Fuerth, Hoechberg, Burgprep- 

rg kKrxKif come (bo mind) - whssxe our contacts with 

'- > '. w /) -- bSKHXX 


'M.'tft'/W ^]-^g HxirHHxiiäHHrxxxHXBHBXBif emigres -and refugees iuxBHXHXxXixhHäx^HX 

fiarBOKäx whom the Alien Police had .aranted e«5SJbmr3iid- temporary 

^^^N>^ 5 \^i <>s CJK. \^i^ • 

Sfe wit h m fehc raatrictivc adm^ rg^io n policie a 
^/f Ia/ f or^-tho oapitQ -l ^/\ Jjousing had become scarce as 4i&Ä pxHiiaHgKHxwHxx 





wdi bicunuiu^ - swel^ed" 

JU Cjpuntry responded to a new world w 
jA^o^Aa, •c^ military prpparedness ia l1 f^a■ft f)n!nf n r ll ^ l n nr i prnrlnrti nn^y ^ -- 

men wno /had 

before the 

closed by the SWiss in response to 

unable to subdue the demons he had sublimated-so 

effectively onto his sympathy for tk^ congrega" 

spread over his large rabbinical distriife. his egregious gift f< 

for friendhip,and for liiste^/ning to people in need of 


« t !•-> 

V y t' iL-^iß^ 

come closekl tried to convey to him 


im and csL^i^töd^the delicate balabces 

^IfV h^vJ/ 

neva^ spoke of what I tj[^hough was JaiB 
ä^s^ for h^s own meaningS and 
en filial piety imposing an unwanted 

to feed a father's dreams 


\\^ . ^ 



To say that I was grateful to the SWiss for justbxHjgx 

being therelin my greatest hour of need would be enixirKiyx 

,e exuiDerance ot my navmg 

for he rest of my life during nearly annual Visits from New York - 

the wrong language.Even mf the exuberance of my having escaped 
execution paled over many years J^ndT y^iferfcs for *vork and leisure 

and Berlin, 

nearly a half-century üntil travel became too 

strenuous during these last years f -^ /co this day^ Swiss natura and 

culture, land and peoRle, belong to tio the eerrtr^Lo^ my 

^ I 

life. Naturally, I have learned to think rationally and critically 

of many things Swiss, and of many individual Swiss policies and 

public pHixKXKSx actions.the rough sides of Swiss civilization, 

the hidden and not so hidden village pump prejuiice, aöö I included 

Swiss history in my PhD program in Beri^'^ymparhsizei/with many 

critical anajysis of Swiss behavior and attitudes ^-like a family 

i \ 

member , af fectionately. 

e of myemoti^ves for choosing' Bern 

y^ / / i / 

to spenc^ 'three Vears/of my life in. The 
^- ^^^bctoral/ / -- / 
for myd^e(boral Studios sho^^ws my profound 

st-war .'Öermany and Euxope. I clear ly visualized 

for myself in the rebuilding of the Jewish 



. 3|l2"M 



h^K P[V:>U^ 

It had taken me a week to arrange my affairs in Bern. I had 
secured all t he permissions the Swiss allen police Offices : - . • 
-federal. cantonal, city - required of an "undocumented alien 
Fluechtling (Refugee)on temporary leave from being interned as 
in a labor stu dy one term at Bern University's Philo- 

^°\^'i?^^^^'^ Facuity j j^gjj rented i sparsely furnished roora 

in a r§£ jpectable quarter, close toe the Fedaral grchivesfor whose 

lack of amenities and poor heating the landladä keptäpologozi ng 

V d 




when she found me homeiThe ^University and C^ty Library ^^ 
inV^own, close to the Cathedral , the 16 hours o f c ourses I had 
enro 11 ^ed inHkxkkHxMHXXHXSHJkyxxÄJc ^\i (vi adequately heated jlass 


jr 4.i^^j^ 



Cafeteria . "mensa acadamica Judai ca ^* 

/ / 

Congregation for students and refugees; 



set up by the 

dinner invitation at the r abb/*s housexxk« 

TT whin aftr a | weKs Lotte began ^aorking n 


as a houshold aid and chi(^dren's \^_^dxHHÄ for a Swiss diplomat 

c Vi Q 

acquired a sleep-in rooms upstairs ( Continent|fal maids 
;Lived u pstairs, not downs'tais as in England) a.j found another c 
asylum with our asylum until the proper Sw^s petit k oürg'* iois^obj ecl 
to"Maennerbe_-uch" after 10 p/m/( j^ embarrassed^l>er emplo; ar ' 
enough to help us overcome the Bern civil registrar's reluctance to 
register a marriage by "non-documented aliens". \ 

1 had paid my f Irs t visit s to the Bern Jewish 
Community Offices. saw most of the instructors i whose cour ses I 
hadenro lled in,had f amil iar.<i.zed myself with the W^i-«3^-v^irr~~tr^Tirtioin 

■> % 


index card System of a library^ andi(a'^^^ the read .ing 

room, a jewel of peace anöxxxx serenity that would be :ome jf)y true 
'home during my Student days in Bern. What Struck me most during 
this first week was the unhurried rel axation and the friendliness 

of everybody I cain(^> in contact with.For a long t /ime,^ fty u^dergro't/;: d fl 

iy s 1 n 

flight from deportation in Berlin/ the tense wact 

would leave x% mark in my behavi or: 

I manouevered 



through ,' da 

I had to learn to accepi3that Ihad been ^xsHrixxcatapulted into 

a new life where the <^ase and kindness I had ;been surrounded by 

in my Jewish communal) t ies in Wuerzburg an i Berlinn was the norm 

as now moving in. 


the non-Jewi sh ^gfcxx society i ^ 

I believe if I had no t had Lotte and the cheer our r e l a1> t^o nsb-ip had 

brought us, and IF i had not ' been accepted by the fami lies 

and friends of the Bern rabbi and congregat ioj7^ if I I had not 

taught and written in ways that symbolized contonu i ty on several 

^^^*^5::»fe ^antellectuLlly siqnif icant 

e, ,. o:^...icii;>t signif^--Hr — ^2k -inteiiectuLiiy sig 

_ j I ^ ' ^'K 

&tI}uif"ii>3H44^ levels,the th|orou^i[: o^j-^nai 'gap between Ger man and 

W^yswi^^ &uij«l>i.l-i*ry during this peri od would havöbeen 

feit as a 


ijbu tu 

shock -p^^the Jewish Community fn Germany \after ali\ not the nazi 
System of äeaTin g with /each q_ttlher, had shaped m e from my 

tet - tho Na^rr-By&tm iL 


This extended especilly to the university lecturer^rs whose 

Vit) AT 
courses I attenfded.I was hypersensitive to expressi ons of pity 

for what happened to u§ T the point where \ shied away from epaking 

ab out 

our fate and our losses. Friendships , I though 

at the time/if it was based on pi ty^ was condei^sf cension. I did not w. 

wish to be victim nor be seen as such. I feit mortTified 

when people who had been pcersecuted used their stories to engratiate 

themselves to others. p^^e condec ensiofin - who were they to pity me 

among th^ chosen , j^^^ ^ 
? After all - was I not a {J^iftgg by vcoraing through the threats 

that hadp been my ^ife? And was there not every r eason to be humble 

in the face of the coincidences, the lucky accidents, the helpers 

and wgood samaritans ? o/ 

^xhHdx p^^ fjow about allt hose who did not survive ? And how about th 
many who in Interviews after 1945ppökfi_JDf ythe privi 

S oyy( \/if:et ^ ^^ ' . ^ ^ 

c^~aine out -a^rfribv^e because they were assigned work: or positions 
t^at had given t hem advantages - from food 1" ^PPTii iif>rT - that 
helped their survjfiival ? 





•^S » 1^^^^ 


1 aViL 




^ /] )' 




» i 

for the express cüpigiii^^^ 

•»,. changed trains in Brieg 
Milan ,via the Simplon Tunnel, 

and was soon wrapped up in thoughts and emotions as the 

train climbed towards the Loetschberg Tunnel and the Alpine 
Indscape Swiss engineerting hadjopened up for nature lovers - o^l 
with such skill and darin g. I believe already on thjliat day 

- it was the First of December, 1943^ 


he five months 

I had been in Sierre camp took their place in my recollection as 
the mixture of hope, expectations , ^love 1 etters ^ ^g^^^ggggj^g^J^g^xxxl 
IfeMsJsapsx ±aHdsKK?iKxaRiäxxi^yjLstas (Äsco vered and urban Spaces 

experienced that 


!eobvious negatives of the camp ex- 

perj^ience. it happened omlymany years later that I approached 
the swiss ref u^gelexperience as a problem of histpric research 
and biog vraphical reflection. In spite of its invidj^ous under- 
tones, I accepted the thought that we owed it to our hosts 
to do our share in war-time - even if I understood its ^mcHMtim aas-^ 
side* better than itsl rationa.'/j^r^ • The^Tellow-studen ts I would 
study with in Bern had to miss weeks and months of classes because 
they were on active &ta-^=«^ in the Swiss Citizens' army for the 
duration of the war. Many saw their studies prolonged ^ and 

r-^r . _^ ^ heavy 

Maa':;* ^'^1 C^'^feii^^.. their graduation plans öisrupted. I had 
- . ' ' ■' "^ / i-c price, in 

Germany for sur''n.ving_ hist-.ory while everything around me 
■ ^ ^(K>i\n<^ ,,,^y ^"^g destroyed and family and friends d isappeared into the unkown 

l, CK y O '<' C 0-^)0 ^^ . 

void of deportation trains ., Pierre- began |b seem a small price for 

i 'f f 






A ^ 


j> K r ^ j'^ 

y^^^\ ,ij^>l 







A week af ter/| arriv< 


Berry j^ Zeugnisheft 

for Strauss, Herbert, phil/l, Matrikel No. 34.331 

recorde; the first of 10 lectures and Seminars in the humanities and 
historyV '^Snd~0^^^ "pourses including one seminar in the Theological 
faculty. After three terms, I recognized the error in my assumptions 
that Old Testament courses and history of religio^, bridg^ the 
historic gap between Christianity - even Protestant Scholarship - 
and modern JUdaiam. Leaving Nazi Germany behind for a liberal, 
democratic/ culture had not tr;^nnnc:oH m<^ iri^r^ m^^ ,-.r^nTr^v.^^i 4 ^j. ttj • 


fA ^ 


expeKtations had been touched by my almost exclusive Immersion in 
the personalitities and ideas of a tinygroup oa:thTHkers located at 
the üniversity of Baseler- JacoF"Burckhardt, Franz Overbeck, FDiedrich 
Nietzsche, Bachofen, to whose lives and worSs My Beriin 

H echschule teacher Ernst Grumach had introduced i me in .H^ U^6?/- i'^^^^ . 
m±^:dlPo±- m( ^ s^h^uv J^ Berlin that destroyed the legacy of humanism 

cöTTV^yed to me (. 

\^i.jnäi s5t iife support wh 

SiiiiLrdL'h») as our special 
ile Berln crashed down around us. 

Since my studying religion and the Jewish tradition had been so 
closely bouft^p with my dreams about my poist-Nazi future - scholarfife 
ship combined with Service ^"i» Jewish j::ommunity 

.. u »' * »-- -^ ^-^ -^w^wx* - it had tl 

T^me three terms to acceptifiÄk^3s!Kx that Bern was not Berlin and Max Hai 
Jü^er nc5TLeo Baeck. In fact, he stood clolse to the self-righteous 
essentialist^aoad imperial Proestantaism that Baeck had vdebunked in his. 
early polemics in Wesen des Judentums! 19 05 N 

19 05N As it were, The Bern Jewj 

milieu, my friend Bern rabhbi Eigen Messinger, and my workkn and for ^ 
the refugee Community in Bern and (from 19 45) on the national level 
an elected rpresentattiv4eld enough avocational opportunities to .' 


71'lli hlftlA C^C1HU_ 
I^ (A t\ i^ iiill 

I am not a tvpical Jewish Immigrant from Germany, 
if such a person can be said to exisr 

ij& fe : 

:) The bulk oif Jewish immigrants/had come to the 

United Statos by 

September l^iSSä 
tS2äai93Sn I arrived on October 24, 1946 via Switzer- 

land.The outbreak of the war ohad caught: me m üermany 

üTTä tUat/p ocöödeö^c 

with a permt f or' Sft^g'JraTTö that^f-p 

to c|0üpiriHbr 

lütüMli'' ~to=a^jir'"enemy almens*" I had pursued Jei^ish 
studmes at the Iiochschule ( liehranstalt) ftier die 
Wissenschaft des Judentums from late 1935 on, and 
had kEKH expected to move to Gambrmdge, England, 

with the institution.iln 1940, I v/as asked by Leo 

Baeck to officiate as an auxiliary rabbi ( Uilfsrabbine r) 

for the JJiedische Gemeindelzu Berlin > I complied 


althoügh my interests did not point to theology or 
an active communal careeSx.Too many rabbis had been 
f^rced to flee after the !loveni)er pogroms of 1938^ ^^^^^ 
¥?J?5 we had to meet the need of Lliu ' J,.. i i<i.iiiiL"l manv 


thousands of Berüm* Jevzs» In January 1942 I v/as camght 

>£Ll^'cj^^./ A^hat was cons idered ^ demeaning 
in the dragnet and i4k^JMjt5d zo doTfasKÄä l^^o^ - dleäning 

the streets of Berlin witn a yellow "Judenstern" 


affixed to my cloths^.On September 24, 1942, I v^as 
forced to hide from deportation to the Cast.^l v/ould 
have been on a transport -^ y^xth my then ftiend and \ 
present wife of 45 years/iff' whose destination i have - b( 




^((^- C^ .>:£ •-'■< f ^ ''^ ^ ' / 

and judicial resources at my disposal.^^Af ter nine 
months Underground in Berlin we succeeded in 


•S, T 

l \H^ \o ■iK\^ 



§vading the police , and illegally cross'^'the heavily guarde! 



t-rrtj— frontier to owitzerland» 


imprisDDed and interned before I:» oin g 
permitted t6 take up doctoral studies at ^/Universitär 
of Bern. P^iveraonths before we arrived^ religious and 

\ j K # 

civic leaders in Gv/itzerland had succeded ±ä rous^A^ 

enoiigh of a public outcry toydiscontinud the policy 

of repatriating illegal refugees actoss the frontier 

into the waiting arms of the Gernan { or French) 

police and the Gestapo. Thus we survived. After I had 

obtainxH^ a doctcirate in modern J]uropean history ii ^g^ » /" - 

hlrg tory and aemitic philology -^e ru uii iorsy ^srfe arrived 
in New York^^i had. .mef^Leo Baeck short^y before ^vhe.n 
as irlHeiegate^ fromSöitzerland to /ithe.^eetihg ^rthe 
World Union i^pr Progressive Judaism in London^ i:;eo 
Baeck certified to the fact tfrhat I had passed the 
final (rabbinical) examinations at the Hochschule fuer 
die i;issenschaft des J^^fdentuns and that the 
facultltad voted/ prior to the dissolution of the 
Jev7ish school System in Germany and the closing of 
the Hochschule in June 1942^hat I had acquired 
the degree of a rabbi and academic teachor of 
religion^ as the old Gerraan title went^although 
a formal s'micha ^sas not . possible any longer and 
did not fit my professional interests. Many years 
later^ when I accepted the assignment of building up 
a nei-/ Center for ResearcWon iVntisemitism at the 
Technical University of Berlin in 1982^ the x>7idow 
Qf /Ernst Grumach 


me a package of documents and 

small Torah scroll her late husband had saved f^^om ] \^ 




apartment in 1942. They iniluded my 


(J) /Om^ll ^^jw/a.jao1^^. 

notes on nost ofthe lecKtures and seninars 

I had attendedat the Hochschule between 1936 and 

1942. Ȋ4 jkkH part ofthe record of rav final 

examinations and the restathef t - the loooklet 

in v/hich Professors testified that courses and seninarsi 

had been attended and completed properly»3ince . 

the records of the Hochschule can not be locate3]B: 

must be presurned lost - one of my .*•.. .students 

in Berlin failed likethe rest of us to locate 

them in East or West Germania last year - these 

lectures notes ^ however incomplete, may be thK 

araong the few docurvients preserving a trace of the 

spirit that characterized the last phase of the 

isonäl an~~ ' 

institution^fa close pers 


and intellectual 

Community betv/een teachers and students in the 
midst of decay and dissolution.As far as I am aware, 
Q^3-y three of the students^^(Dr*Lutz lährlich^ Jwiv/tzer- 
land, Rabbi Wolf gangiiamburger, anä Si USA, and I) 
of that last phasejsurvived* Maat of our ?teachers:^ 
and the^ l- ibrariay r^ petished. 

'W intere;srlt in Jev/ish studieä 


had been f ormo^i by an orthodox upbr inging in the 
milieu of 3otl«h Gerraan middle-tovm ^-"^ev/ry^ jäüMtlSeen 
confirmed by an earlv 

the Zionist youth 
movement and liiia» the intense commnal expetience in 
v/ar-time Jewish Berlin^ I arrived in the United 
States V7ith the expactation ta of combining my 
training at the Hochschule and ike my specialization 
in modern iiluropean ( German) history inj^an academic 
<^?areer. This turned out to be unrealistic since 
I d id not wish to contiy^ue s^udymg classical 


Jiidaica to close the gap betv/een the incomplete 
training at the Hochschule and the State of the art 
as practiced e ^g , at the — J e wish ThüuluLjlcai u o ralnary — 
whieh — ± — €^i% 4^ct e d l Salo /J.i3aron,to whora I owed 
my first job as "research f ello;v"^that itidefini-te 
stop gap in XHtKtiKx^k acadernic careers^ SHgKHxSKKuh±Kr 
conf iimed 5mHixxHBfHHx:KÄKHöiHr^ that there were as 
yet no Jewish studies outsid^ rabbinmcal trainingZ and 
(Aac^ \hvi^Mhy.\s^ that his position at Colurabia was qiitte unique. Others 

advised me tsx not to include my Jev;ish training, the 
Hochschule experiencex, inicitaH vitae I would submit 
to Colleges andlmiversities to find that famous first 

( ^ A>^^^^^^ coWi^f^ 



) ^ cjA. 

opening that v/ould give the newco ler the teaching 
expermence 1fJM*i \\ mm imimmaiggis;säi^ ^^ '5^*^ the job in 

the first place - / catch 22 •! 



(Aw existential gap that eeparated me frorn middle-class 
German Jev7X¥h imraigrants. including ikH most of yie 



a^ ryyf 

vm«^ P"^ cctt-unitvliAdcr 

the/ , . • "'^••'- 

Siege, Leo Baeck*s decisi 
to pursue the business of to xjfey ^. and teaching 



as usual - it ^ad foeen a sourceof his inner- 
directed strength in Berlin - appeared displaced in 

As «. Y^J It. 

(TiVUU to^nn\sj ^:l'^\^^^ ^'^^'^-^ °-^ ■'^^^ great cata Strophe./^/ acadernic 

career shif ted to modern European history^ w 

C i ii ftn ii n ii l i a Department of Historyx öjat-Aiaü. .je^^^t- 
■-tttwHOiSIgftlliliifc». aniwCigw .l ike-minded scholars 



men like flalo Baron, Koppel Pmnson, Joshua Starr, 
I'iax Weinteich, i^lugen i'aeubler;^ Hugo Hahn, "ritz 
Schwarzschil«;^ ilax V7iener,and others. Thus anchored,, 
I took part in the activities -^af the 2\^ew York Community 
df vhiatorians of modern Jurope, . while^forn tiae:first time 
the rny lifä, enjoying friends and colleagues at the 
College v/ho did nödx have to worry about surviving 
tomorro\^7 as individuals or in their communities, I h^d 
become part of New York Jewish intellectual soc 
while continuing to do research in general European 
history.SHhe first fruit of this normr iizatmon was a 
reader on Amermca foreign policy published by my 
Swiss alma mater, and work on 19th Century German 
intellectual history* 

Yet,'Ehe long way, as Leo Baeck used to preach, 
turned out to be the necessary Short way to the 
synthäeis that was denied me by thes absence of Jewish 
studies at Amertncan Colleges anduniversities* Already 
in the late 1940s, |l was iirtve- lv d d in a — 3±vtä^-o^<^ 
conecntartifen camps and the children, who had 
survived at Buchenwald and beenforiugbt xx t^ by 
OSE as a group to the USA. in the mid-fiftiis, I began 

v7ork on German-Jewish Zeitgeschichte and placed my 

first aYtiV^le in the Year Book of the L o 3aeck 

Institute, founded in 1954. In theri96Ös, I started 

working on l^th Century Prussian Aoicies towards the 
Jews. In thdmid-sixties, a fruitful avocational 
assoiccation began witli the Leo 3aeck .nstitute and 

the coordinatingagency of Jev/ish iminigrants in 

an invitation 
the USÄ^xikH : I accepted Üik XK^UHKt mtxmy^xtttnnds to 



join the Amerilcan Federation of Jews from Central 

Europe as^isecEBtary, then vic^e-pijesident.Thus, since 

1964, I have had occasiiion to develop research into 

the last pha^serc^Germarr-^üews and their acculturation 


in the USA and in other countries^ through rnemtaer- 
ship in the Presidium of the international Qouncil of 
Jev7s frora Germany, London.! the Research Foundation 
for Jev/ish Immigration wa4-,&e«ndHö to wtitethe 
social and Gaswwmia history of ;. Jewish iramigrantn 
in theM LMjSAj it is on recdbrd with a major series 
(Jewish imraigrants from iiazi Germany in Jt h^ tfsA , 
6 vols.1978- date) and the four-volume I nternational 
Dioqraph ical Dictionarv of Central European Bnicrre s 
1933-1945 (1978 - 1933). The Taeublerian polarity 
and interdependence of Jev/ish and general scholarship 
is being continued in my pre^ofit assignnent in 

Berlin^ Germany: äi^e^ 1932^,<-r"t«ve been iiQund±n^xxRnüx 
d^recting a newly founded Center for r.esearch on 
Antisernitism at the Technical üniversity there. 

The "Gernan-Jewish legacy" has thus found 
idiosyncratic expression in my schalarly interests and 
coramunal is a vast and heterogeneous 
history if one focusses on the inteilectuals and 

Professionals among erfiHigres dispersSe to such major 
areas ^ 

€iQ%»A«3?fte6 of settlement as Great Btitain^ Israel 
athe USA I and the .European continent.The Biocrraphica l 

I>ictionarv just mentioned/establishea the impressive 
achievement of 

German Jews during the last flov/er^nq of their. ,, 
history. Its scholarly impact'is now being invest'igate( 
by new research designs beyond the biocrraphical 


record. Th#i/effort is being aided by 
-/A'Geriaan equivalent of the 'Mlational Bndov/ment for ^the 


: tk i„>w4^^0^>*rr:I>^ 

llunanities^ the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft^ 2onn^ 

the %3tiftung Volkswagenwerk. Iianove :r . German 
^public. '^äa^ik^Mi^i^^ 

and by 



of the emmrrration/^ of tke Judaistic scholarship - 
Wissenschaft des Judentums -^ at--pi*sefit of Jewish 
historians^ j^ TalmudisISyand rabbinic scholars to 
Israel and the USA« Jerusalem, in contrast to 

Ärnerican Jewish institutions of higher Jev;ihh learning, 
-Kwith the notable exception of Ilebrev/ Union College g9ide< 

by President Julian lorgenstern- appears to have HHäx 

9^ y^oct i 

given i^Pe rfto-firt: hosptable reception to displaced 

Gernan/Äustrian scholars H:g in Jewish studies« 

At thebther end of the scocial scale, German 
Jewish immigrants have been fortunate in arriving 
in raost countr)ies of their dispersion v/ith their 
communal leadership intact: IJazi persecution, 
especially the collective expujsiefl folloOT^ng the 
pogroms of IJovembet 1933, was brutallt$ unselective. 
Thus^ Gerraan Jews - af filiatedji Jews, in contrast 
to many intellectuals who remained nominal Jews - 
transferred their communal sub-cultures - and these, 
too, were quite heterogeneous - to wherever a critical 
mass allowed communal orqanizations* They reflected 


a basic characteristic of i Genaan-uex/ish life, the 

ever-renev/ecl procoss of the frontier between religious 


folk cultures and modernization. The vitalitv which 

Gerra'^ 1 judaism had owed tothe tensions /lEastern- 

Jewishland German rural/'milieu-based pietyK"(the term 

is owed to Leo ßaeck) and the confrontation with 

modern Judaisra found its last expression in the KumerHusx 

congregations, social serviice agencmes^ research 

orqanizations , Zionist organizations . special-issue i <><■% . ^ W- 
ccxiojauAitiö^ ^ professional organizations etc. they 

:/ 1'^^/^> 

established on the patfecnn of the country of origin:^. 
Th A£ i^miiiimimmrmt»- /heir organizational and comraunal 

acculturation (for whose study we set up an oral histary 
project in the e»Bly 70s:J:/allowing first overview;^) 
has followed the patterns observed for earlier imrmngrant 
groups both Jewish and non-Jev/ish, in American history. 
Where Organization was based on the "sacred ethnicity" 
of folk-minhag and folk- nigun^ ' it rarely survived the 
founder generation, and was often crushed by thHXKxäaH 
urban decay and deraographitf mobility in the American 
cosmopolis. Where the principle of Organization v/as 
openjto the chal langes of ÄmermcanK and American-uewish 
life, organizations entered the mainstream like others 
before them« In an era in v/hich Jewish collective 

consciousness gropes xxj^kxfcks for a new post-assimilitorv 


,-'■-, '' 

self-understanding and a new relationship to/course 
oflisraeli culture^ where the American Image of itself 
has advanced beyonc} older Araetficanization and melting pot 

\ ' 


«• '« 

concepts to the acceptance of ethnic continuities and 

a nev7 pluralism^ th^^ final chapter of t^?K>c G^rnian-Je v/iah ry 

legX^^^-wXJftXy well hold a lesson ^or the rfuture.lTt'» svnthesis 
betv/een coraiaunal self-preservation and acculturation 

foeyond the disappearance of the folk ftontier^in prosperous 

tirnes and in adversity, in the homeland and in ddispersion^ 

as raost- impootant 

deserves to KtiKd be studied £hk the /'legacy %M}SX this 

last generation of Gerinan Jev;s MHjöcsäxMKÄiicagKdxxfrcoixthe 

dsatbx: :0£xx:^xxssiKiia:i2o::k!^ • 

including ray own admittedly idiosyncratic biography 

kasxiiaxiKiiaarJtx has been able to realiye« 


The question that arises here concerns the tired 
accusation l had become aware of soon af tet I arrived in 
New York and looked for a Job teaching Jewish studies in 
a secular colleae or univeesity. i was probably the last 
(non -theological) stiident graduating from the Hochschule 


( ehranstalt) fuer die ;:issenschaf t des Judentuns when i 

-.n nxa-iJ42^ J, ^ A6'(jkStra^|ded in 1939 when 
the proposed transfer of the institution to ^mbr^dge, 

.nglan , failed tojnaterializo, Among the inany insights 

„^. , ' • ■ ■«• . 

that beaan to transform the tarn into the m^vin was Salo ^i 


vJ^3aron*s empathetmc guidance into the intrmcacies of a 

System thatdemanded that I kide my "Jewish credentials" 

if I v;anted a teaching Job in history# It v/as one of the ma- 


nv acts of kindness and intellectual suppprt I remained 

grateful for to him, to Koppel S^fina^n and the 


xn ::iew 

Yo-Ic connected with them. >ut it also became soon 

clear that the basically Eastern-Jewish group I was privilegeü 
to be associated with contrastedin its perceptions with 
the opinion the ' r^^^ held of German Jewry; it arnounted 


^uiiii i«ii n i II !■ i n ii«i« 

»J U WII .1« ' I ■ »«.^ . ,^^^ 


— '\ 

"^""^ ^'^^^^y abroad 



berman Jev;s 

Yet, even today, outlines of their lecfacy have 

On*:tbe level of xommunal oraanization. 
arrived before 1939/41 with nany of thei riligious anri 
conmunal leaders; they had been Hitler 's prefcrred target 
when the jfirst large-scale pogrom of Novenber 1938 . aooeared 
to Signal the end of organdzed Jewish life ( it waa notlj 
This per litted them to reproduce the entire organisatianal 



\ I 





! • 


(Lew <^<A»7/ f**» *• 



x^ /y i^ 

Hci' ^ 


wenn ueberhaupt snz laiethische ündreUgrönsethische " 
Haltungen psychologische Entsprechungen haben, dann 

liegt der juedlsch-volksreligioesen Gebetbuch- und 

Tagesethik die Idee zugrunde, dass es dem Menschen aufge- 
geben ist, von" dem Aufstehen bis zum Schlafengehen" 

nach der vollkommenen Erfuellung e«>ne8 in ihrer End- 

lichkeit ungew**4en Anzahl von Geboten zu streben. Seit^ 
.. ihrer talmudischen Fixietung liegt der Jued i sehen ISm- - 
.. ethik Klmsx die Spannung zu gründe, die ähmx da vorhanden 
zu sein pflegt, wo das Beduerfnis nach Sicherheit und - 
Geschlossenheit einer ihrer Art nach unendlichen Fnr- - -- 
derung nach Vollkommenheit im Ebenbild eines Ueber- 
maechtigen gegenuebersteht . DiewÄx Unruhe verdichtet 
Sich direkt zu einer Arbeit an sich selbst, als per- 
soenltche« Streben nach Vollkommenheit, und an dem 
J^erhaeltnis zu« Gott :^ie_ suche nach der vollkommenen 
Zufriedenheit des Vaters -"it dem^Sohn rFraueRvrnuessen _ 
*«Bh, etwas saeuerlich, damit zufrf dengeben, dass Gott 
^ie a ls Fra ue n gesch affen h.--t).3ie formt das Verhaeltnis 
zum Nebemmenschen, dem "Anderen"» , zur " '^elt"s die 
populaere Literatur, die z.B. im Trauerhause aus der 
aggadlschen Tradition vorgetragen wird"," entha^lt'^ine 
psychologische MKic»kRikx«Brx8RKrkR±iHBrsy Sensitivitaet 
9K9KKH8k^x t» <3er:soziafteThik, die das Ideal der Froemmig-" " 
keit, Rechtlichkeit, Ruecksicht mit dem Verstaendnis 
fuer das Trostbeduerftige im Menschen paart. Die Welt ist ~ 
etwas Aufgegebenes, unvollendetes, die Spannung zwischen 
der messiaslosen Gegenwart und derdurch Vervollkommnung 
aller menschlich erreichbaren Beziehungen xu ertsrbeten 
Kessiaszeit spiegelt sich als Aufgabe auf das T^eal hin 

! . 








ß^dAA x^t -^f /wi 


O UlZ-Äs- 





^"'w x^\i4ts^ MMi^c^' ouif — /yuj-^ 


R U cl^ ifJjjL^ ^1,'uwt^; i^ov^'" ^^ ^W^ 





H-uuc\Uu{^ hJih S'^ (^ 


^r ' 






^lAiA <j-€<-^ 

'pQ>i^- Cvü 

T^'^^^AO^ nO h/ UiM^ät^^^UX"^ 


l^'rh-UeA^^^ cZJf 

O JA O^ ^ d^/M^<ti_^ 

y^ Diu iki^ch^cU <H^ /^'f^<i( Si^J 



^^ iz-o 



M^- köuJA/ic^ 

A-ed^-t>- l a ^QMh- 





tyi4/^<!^ _ 










/V -A. v^Ü ' 




^^ -^ /i'ic^ 


F-.Ua^ <^ ^'U L;& 

"^■^u,^ Lä,t 

di^ li£/i 




f -- - 

so entsteht eine 9XitK^99»kxk±Kkts Unruhe im Selbst- 

bild des Juden und in seiner sozialen Ethik, die stskxa 
XBXSlexBkkx$±näKfcx durch den Minderheiten-Status verstaerkt 

wird und den Juden religions-psychologisch dem aus der 

— f 


Psychologie der puritanischen Ethik abgeleiteten Selbst - 

verstaendnis des Frtehkapitalismus nahebringt. Das Risiko 

des unerfuetkten Gebotes, das zu Spannung und Handlung zwingt, 
entspricht dem Risiko des unbekalrinten Marktes, von dem 

Erfolg abhaengt 




ß** Spannung ist jedoch nicht permanent, und die 

^^^^A^.^^^^ ^®5 ^^®^ Gottes fuer sein Volk und sniKB die 
Bereitschaft des Vaters, dem Su ender in den grossen emotio- 
nalen Erlebnissen der "ernsten |eiertage", etwa besonders 
des Yom Hakippur. ( Versoehnungstages) zu vergeben, smir 
ihn in das Buch des Lebens einzuschreiben, ihn von den 
ihm auferlegten aber unerfuellten Pflichten des vergangfeBBJt 
Ritualjahres durch das in FASTEN UND Gebet e^orbene 



Gefuehl der Selbst -bestraf ung, quasi als Ersatzhandlung, 

zu befreien, bringt die Erleichterung, die innere Erneuerung7 

c3en Neubeginn im Kampf um die nicht zu erreichende Voll- 


kommenheit des Selbst und der ihm auf erle^gten Last" der Welt. 








.Die f=ingp historische Verbindung zwischen Ji v^on der 

Emanzipationszeit und liberalen <>Ser radikal^^n Ideen ist 
gev?oehnlich aus der i^erspettive des juedischen Interesses ' 
an Emanzipa$ion_u^ p^es^tigung v^n mssenseitertun und 
rechtlicher Behinderung verstanden worden.yx»»yßk®i!^?rtS5-Jix 
Die rational-soziale und politische Komponente sp icht in 

der Tat aus der nur fuer die Frueh(brthodoxie unaueltiapn 

1 ___^ "^ "* 

Ineinsetzung von Liberalismus und Judenemanzioation. Die 

Juedlsche Tradition, die spaeter Nation ?3lisTOus,dip f'vstik 


des Bd&dens und der Abstammung, Neo-irr a^ionalismus und Exist- 


entialismus in sich beherbergen sollte, erscheint in solcher 

, Sicht als anpassungsf aehig, juedischer Geist als sozial- 


st ändert lieh interessen^ebunden* 



Der buergerliche Idealismus der Zeit, Biedermeier odf^r 
halÄ-revioÄtionaer in seiner abstrakten Entferntheit von Macht 
un Politik, eccchien aber nicht nur als Ideologie der Juden. 


pr hatte Hfarzeln im Judentum selbst^ Die Form juedischer Selbst- 


,yerv?altung, die Gemeinde, war seit vielen Jahrhunderten durch — 

Selbst d da,w< 
die urspruengliche phariaeisehe Form festgelegt worden, die - 

' Einfluessen 
politische Realitaetdec Gemeindelebens den ^.^nrnm^^ <^iner 


plutokrati sehen oder theokratische rabbinischen Elite und den — 

isolierenden Tendenzen lokaler ^^Schliessung ^ogen Zuzug von 

. jiAussen Raum gegeben hatte. Der soziale Ideelismus der Gleichheit 

kxtels-js im Maennerbund des Lernens, der Gleichheit des Juden vor _ 


dem GesetzyxÄtnexWM3t:rRi verwirklicht. Die Hoffnung auf Lohn 
fuer die rechte Tat, die Verfeinerung des sittlichen Vpr- 
haltens dem Mitmenschen gegenueber hatte_ein v?aches Gewissen 

erzeugt, das die I7elt als gruendjich mo^ralisch ansah. I 



Kern der messianischen Hoffnung verbarg sich die Verneinung 
51er ^genwart : im ".nruf an den Juden zur m,oralischen Tat 
der^^.nruf zur Veraen derung der ^Jelt^ deren "schlechte Gegenwyart" 




fu<^r die besser«? Zukunft diskontiert v;erden musste. Lebe 


zwischen den Realitaeten der Geschichte vr-i^r einer Minor it;iets- 
religion eigentuemlich, deren geschichtliches Selbstverstaend- 
nis grundsaetslich v^n de», christlichen Heilsgeschichte 

._abstach, deren Numinosum in der Vergangenheit lag, aus der 

- ^^^ Ju^^n..die schlechte Gegenwart erwuchs. Symbolisch das 
Biedermeier Bild vom ^^ni Freitag in den Schoss und Glanz 
_der Familie aus dem Elend des Hausierertums zurueckkehrenden 

^_ Juden, Koenig in seinem Koenigreich des Geistes, in Kommuniorr 
mit einer ^7elt, die soziales Prestige fuer Geistig-Gef uehl- 

haftes verlieh, es nicht au§ sozialer !Roile und d 

em Ein- 

kommen Ä^KXx herleitete. 

Die ^'7ahl §4ner auf soziale und noiit4>sche Reform 

gerichteten Haltung kam von dem Lebenstil und dem Selbst- 



verstaendnis einer Generation her, dieauf die Vergana^nheit 

mit den A^lgen einer romantisch stiliserten Gegenwart zurueck 

blickte, und hmx ihrHüo Bild juedischer Werte hrsS " und 

typisch-juedischer Verhaktensvjeisen im feM»r«?Ry3f*Kksrijrxx 

Icicfe«ra3ct»P(!MSy59(ä-5erx Spielarten von Ideologien v?iederfand, (ätR 

deren ^erhaeltnis zu Zeit, Geschichte, GesFlTs^^t oder 

Sozialethik formal der .^tasiäxrsKhsen Selbst/rfilisierung des 

Juedischen entsprochen hatte. Ob der macht poiitljsche und 

klassenkaerapferische Kern der sich im fruehen Modernsierungs 
staditum bef kindlichen Welt des deutschen Biedermeier-Buerger- 

tums dabei anvisiert wurde oder nichts die religioes her 

geleitete Moralitaet poütibschen oder sozialen Verhaltens- — 
blieb in der ideologischen Rfelexion erhalten. 



Zv?ischon dem etva durch resolute Taufe ^cler ebenso 



resolute Rueckkehr in die Tradition moeglichen Ende clpr 


SpannungsfHfcKXRHxx sisHnnkRxKtt-h die ^eiheder inrlivirlupllrn 

K^K*iHÄfe±Ä>KRH , von Jueclisch-existentieller Selbstbehauptung^ 
fe3t!J>feKx mit je verschiedener Off enHheit zur nicht-juedischen _ 
Welt^ dem im deutschen Judentum bis zum Ende T-tachgebliebenen 

Willen zum Judentum,, bis zur totalen Indifferenz: mit jener 
nicht immer ganz beseitigten Unruhe am Rande des Bewusstseins, 

die KS>H aus dem Verdraengten ins Zentrum v^rzust^sden bereit 

—^ - -—' -^— — bev?usst ^•jerden ^ 

V7ar, wo im,mer xiEk Konflikte nx^B^mn T/?uerden. 

Keine, dessen Selbst -Stilisierungen (*iRxMHik?fi^Hkrb»2rfexx 
iPCEoeyxxx als Selbst -Dramatisiecq^ge^n und Selbst -Ironisierengen 

RXKRKx des sich als Hirkung benutzenden Dichterssuspekt 

- - --...._. artikulierte „___ : und . 

bleiben, KKrkjJ^KrpRrJgrRxsKSKri^Kxdie Gegensaetze ^«rPtKr roeglich- 

keiten, die fuer deutsches Judentum exemplarisch geblieben 

sind. Einheitlich blieb, fuer alle inhaltlichen Diskont inuitaeten 

die Einheitlichkeit der Grundhaltung des sich als Genie frei 


[wissenden Dichters und desideelichen Formen seines ur- ~"" ^ 

; spruenglichen juedischen Bev7usstseins 



— , , 







Diese Eigentüiemlichlceit des juedischen Zeitverctaendnisses 

verband liberale Politik mit juedischer Traditir>n. Gef^ss, 

ÖÄÄxEriiBXMHrx seit Parraults Querelle des Anciente at des 

des Zeitbegriffs 
Modernes hatte sich die Wandlung im Beusstsein der 'ufklaen^ng 

vorbereitetund etvfa in Lessings Entwurf eine deutsche Ent- 


sprechung zu Condorcet gefunden. Euer die Generation der 

fuehrte der "" 

Hegelschueler warxKKxjrHxtkrHiaxFortschritt ueber dessen Har- 

. zu einer — ■ 

morfsierungenjhinaus MwxÄiH 'nederentdeckung des Zeit bewusst sein 

. Kegels 

der^ '\uf IJlaerung.^^ÄtT^HRy YMmX^ M5T^Ri'Xxy5?E»??5?hBMR5rKRy»KtHarx 

dialektische - ... 

ÖHXxXRÄHxÄKÄx^H^KKx Versoehnungen der ^egensaetze der Zeit 
MMxctKRxx warKRx erwiesen sich als unbrauchbar, sobald" dTe~' 
Zukunft durch die nun in ihrer Bedeutung sich wandelnde " ' 

"Idee"als movens ä*Kx8K^RimHrtex zur Erhellung der Gegenwart ~ ' 

MnSxHix einbrach und die^"" Idee" den Inoraiisch-religdjoesen ' 

Unterton des IJuenschbaren, der Reform oder der Revolution" — ~~ 
erhielt/, - -- -. - ^._ _,. 

Die heilsgeschichtliche Mornpnt des Christentums 

das n der Vergangenheit gelegen hatte, 

wurde durch. ätH messianische' 3rwartungÄRXxi?MC?wRteMwj? 

'^■aiiiej JiegelstfL_ 

KR^xÄktetvr ersetzt^ MH^-ssifcKk d iK^fesrraiHKkrir sft^ifKkR Ver 


t • 

soehnun"55^B5yRJ:sxRtytxt>!!?Br ChristentumN<i*fe Vernunft zerbrach 

an der Kritik der Zeit von der Uttf>pie, der Zukunft h^r.- 

D*e soziale Realitaet der offiziellen Gegenwart wurde als 

eine von vielen ko-existenten "geschichtlichen" Bealitaeten 

entlarvt undreftiviert, ohne die üegelsche Konzeption von 

der auf die Fersd?ehnung in der Gegenwart abzielenden Begroff __ 

dr 'beschichte voellig zu verzichten. Flegels aus der :\ufklaerunq 

uebernommene StadieniRkrs und Epochenlehre oeffb^te sich 

eine di^ 

lediglich HÄSkxxfRxnKx auf öi» Zukunft hin, in (Ser durch 

politische Philosophie und ihr Kind, Rr-v^iuti^n, die ver- 

soehnung nun zu projizieren t,jar. 







- - Damit v?ar der Anschluss gefunden an die Geschichts- 
auffassung undden ^ejLtbegriff des traditionellen Judentums. _ 
j I nach seiner Lehre 

Seit der Zerst^-nerung den TemDels/| befand sich d^^c. Judentum 
; * /j, . . _-_...;_-... 

in einem selbst-verschuldeten Provis'^rium, dem Exil v^m Lande 

4ichl<eit 'tand, 
des Tempels. Geschieht^ wMrof^r'vn:e~l? 0-3 enzvie ig mit Recht bemer!<:t 

hat, dem auf zeitlose !Dffenbarung veertrauenden Judentum fremd 

- *- 

gegenueber. Epochen kamen und gijngen ohne dem Judentum die 
Hoffnung auf das in der Zukunft liegende Keil des Erloesung 
durch den Messiah zu nehmen, SPmx Die Juedische Tradition , 

sah sich ausserhalb des geschichtlichen Ablaufs der ''Jelti, 


deren Wirklichkeit sich im Miedergang des eigenen aeuss^en 

Das das sich 

Schicksals spiegelte. mttc*xh*s Drama, zwischen Gott und (Skr seinem 

um Erfuellung seiner Gebote ringenden Volj^eiTRbsplielte/ 
gehoerte eine© celigioes-moralir^ch knnzipiP^rten Zeitbegriff 
an.Die indivicluelle Tat T^^ar Wirklich, nicht die Veraenderung 
der Institutionen^ so ergaben sich Spannungen ZT-rischen 
Ebenen feon geschichtlichen Vnrgaengen, erh^eht durch c*i»xx ~~ 

aie Erfahrung der '* schlechten •' äusseren Gegem^iart und der '^ 

jauf zeitloser Ge^issheit beruhenden gnkMHfk Gevissheit der 

;Auserwaehltheit. Eine die Leiden und das Kaertyrertum — 



betönende religioed -poetische Tradition vertiefte den gegen 

4sat2 2v7ischen Welt und Geist, Die zerrissene Wirklichkeit ,di* 

-[[.schlechte '^egenvjart und Vergangenheit, die durch moralisches 


..Verhalten herbeizuf tehrende Reform und 5?R(^i±Ek zukuenftige 
Erloesung wsacKPixgfffi^RiHisrMfex bildeten die religiof^de Grund- 



Schicht eines Verhaltens, das nun durch c*iR Emanzipation und 

Akkulturation tpaxHMXi!5RHisfKk-s'?5ricRntexs?rtr5JHr»!?nkf»Hx mit d 


europaeischen Denken zur Uebereinstimmung kommen sollte. 















Die Suche nach dem *' Juedischen'' in dem Denken 
und Leben eines Intellektuellen oder eines Dichters 
hat im allgemeinen v^enlg pFaazTses" und Selber des 
Impressionistische hinausgehendes hervorgebracht. 
Die Definition dessen, v?as man als Juedisch anzunehmen 
bereit ist, *Äkx trennt den öbjettiven Beobachter vom 


dem feindlichen? v»as sie vereinigt, ist die Willkuer 

der Begriffe und die MstKltkKJ:^ Verhaftung an Zvreck 

und Zelt, - - — — 

- soll die Untersuchung des ^roblems, ob sich in - — 
einer Gruppe von Denkern ein Juedlsches kffniMSx heraus- 
trennen lasse, auj4 eine gesuaedere Grundlage gestellt jfRyÄi 
so tnuss die Frage rl^otos eingeengt werden auf eine 


begrenzte Zahl intellektueller Inhalt- und F^^rm elemente. 
EJcRBxxfiiiBkR Die Frage tnuss ferner d4e ks»Rkxe6s soziale 
und politische Selbst -Verstaendis eines solchen _ _ :j 
juedischen Denkers,! 


die Art seiner Identifizierung 
mit Juedischem und Judentum, seine Aktion und Reaktion 
^ auf die nicht-juedische Umv;elt und ihr sich fe*ttlich 

oder parteilich aendernöes Bild der juedischen Situation 

und des^Jijed Ischen Denkers ir^Betracht ziehen. 

Diese Ueber legungen srgskBirx muessen ferner die 

in Europa — 

Einflussfrage stellen, denn Juedische Tradltioryywjrr gehoer 
ssi:faxicy:xtttxtkx»xStgrKRaxir): zur breiten Umwelt ^r ad idiyton 


zur vjest liehen Getttesgeschichte, nahm an ihr Teil, 
Hess Sich von ihr befruchten und in ihrem Selbst- 
verstadnenis best mmen/ 










Heine - die Ethsjerung der Kunst. 

Heines spannungsreichew Spiele mitPolitik 
undAesthetik im Raum der europaeischen Gesellschaft 



haben zu typisch isolierenden Loesung'en der Frage nach 

9s±RKXxxäsRi Verhaeltnis von Kunst und Leben gefuehrt. Die 
zeitgenoessische Einordnung in das Jungdeutschtum, die sich '~" 
als ein pol moeglichen Helne-verstaendnises ervries. kak ~ 

1.0% w 

schob die Grundfrage seiner Ttifcsskwungr ^elbst-Anschauung ebenso 

II trivialierend beisetfeex als die neukonservative Interpre- 

tation ^1^ aristokratischen Aesthetepy und aller ^emo- 

kratie als vulgaer abgeneigten Leidenssnobs. - .- 

— Heiney SxstxxNXX in einer urspruenglichen Ent- 

Wicklung Hegelscher ^ersoehnnggen In einer Richtung, die 
spHKkKZxäKX FeuerbachsathKK Hegelkrtitik vorwegnahm und 



- I 

— » 

siegln einer originellen t'Jeise f ortwentwickelte. Die Zeit 
war, seit der FranzoesischeneaRolution, aus den Fugen, unö 
das Unbekannte des Fliessenden, das Verschwinden eine» 
absM?utguelti^enyer Stehens der Zukunft, gab dem Gewinn, der 
aus der auf die Zukunft hin interpretierten Geschichte 
zu holen v?ar, seine allgemeine Anerkennung, Hegels *HBia als 


Ideologie entlarvte Versoehung von ^ernunft und Wirklichkeit, 
Vergangenheit und Gegenv;art im umfassenden dialektischem 




Leitbild der Wirklichkeit, erwies sich als unfaehig, d4A 

m ^4* Metternich-Zeit fzu souverainisieren; "Hegels 
Idee vmrde zum IdöÄL", die Zukunft als unvollendete^ und 
aufgegebene^ ersetzte die Vergangenheit im Geschichtsbild 
der Zeit . "Die Einsicht der Welt^aTs 'einer~ihm wider- 
fahrenden, seiner persoenlichen Verantwortung mit aufgegebenen 
''eschichte ausgesetzt zu sein, ist grundlegend fuer Heines 
Interpretation seines Dichtertums" ( Kuttenkeuler 2?). 


Die Ideratttaet Q£ Pa 




aet (*5rr v^n der jupdischen 

Tradition zugrundeliegendem tpypi sehen Verhaltens^^eisen und ^>^«e^ 

! pe 1 1 ve r st ae nd n i s se|^ XRi!?tx»±Kkyxs??JrÄi!*x(^±Rxf?rp7HXR wxg!?S5?k?? wx x 
;WKX entsprach selten einer vereinfachten Relation v^n Judenturn 


und Zeitkritik. Dass die Verbindung wirklich vwic , wird an 

den Grehzetö offenbar, ueber die juedisches Denken ueber Staat 


und Gesellschaft nicht hinausgelangte - etwa im Verhaeltnis 

zu Macht und Recht, Krieg und Macht, 5!H*5rrySelbstbestimmung 



\:ind ziellose ^.narchie. 

j Das Verhaeltnis V7ar icjz^wifsitziRrte war zunaechst arun^-^ 

$aetzlich ein formales, die Fioralisierung der polit(tschen Welt 

im Geiste der Zukunftund die Loesung der zwischen Geqen\^?art 

und Zukunft erfahrenen .Spannung durch soziale ^.ktivitaet. 

i Inhalte -- -^ 

Die Rj^XKiKK, in denen sich die typische Formr3litaet ausdruecke^"- 
o-raren von Zufall, Begabung, sozialem und historischen Btandcbrot, 
1 Erziehung, Familie usw. abhaengig. Die Begegnung mit dem Zeit 

geist erlaubte die Saekujarisieung ( und auch oft Trivi- 

durch "zweite . 

- alisierungl des juedischen Inhalts fcKSjj^'KJäsfitsxi&Hs^x Generation Jen, 

-die sich in dem *a^jahrhundert , ^ vielleicht bis zum Ende des 


deutschen Judentuias , andauernden Generationenerlebnis der : 

Akkulturation ausgesetzt sahen. "Zlweite ^enerati/->n/' v?ar eine 

M' A mbivalenz^ ^^ £^ 

.psychologische Situation derYSindung^nci "^tf ernung von 

Tradition, so zialer oder kultureller Herkunft: die Grenz^y/uati' 


|( frontier) zwischen Modernitaet und Tradfction blieb sggxJrar Kg^x 

die typischste^eistige Situation des 5?Mri5^?5x mitteleu ODae- 

^l^_^.^'^^^ Juden, solange es kulturell geschlossene Judentuemer 

wie das deutsche Land Judentum, fliedejitsche Orthodoyie oc3er 
das Ost Judentun als Realitaet und Idee luab. Akkulturati^n 
als 'i.Hruf blieb die typische Güituation auch der Senerai^ir^n 
juedischer Denker, die sich als Pioneere der r:odernitaet 
>;ussten,xHfe5?r und kxpixKkKx ein ^erhaeltnis zu ihrer '^orcranaen- 


neit zu suchen hatten, das ihren seelischen Noeten und Mot- 

V7endigkeiten entsprach. 







Grenzsituation xj^cödcüip konstitutiv fu^r die formal- 

typischBH moeglichen Verljaltensvieisen der sich immer er- 

neuernden zweiten fenerationssituation. Fuer Keine ergab sich, 
dies seijT^ Genie feRWHK3rtrx_ die geisti ge Lage d es Juden der ____ 
zweiten Generation mit der geisMg.e^ Lage der_Uberal-radi- 

!^;^;^[^_f55;^^^:^i;^!^^ - ä^ss sich 

jäie Reichweite der psych ologisch JxSii a,«Kä±^stn moeglichen Loesungen 
in seinem Leben mit besonderer Klarheit ab^uzeichndn begannen, 
ä+e. fuer ÄÄSxSahrkHx seine Zeitgenossen und fuer firiwfrwÄRxy d*^ 
seine Erfahrungen wiederliJoienden ^eneratir^nen des'd^t'sch'en 
Judentums abzeichneten, und !äas4-die ideolngisch-f ormellen" 
'ppMtte dit grosser Deutlichkeit formuliert und in Stil 
vervfandelt vTurden." --- -^ . __ 

Bhkä Heines Stil mvMr. reflektiert di^se doppelte 
^identitaet. Er will bewusst entfremden, die P'^etisch-sentime^^ä- 

■le Stimm.ung wird durch die btekannten Schlussverse o(3er -Zeilen"""" 

- ;Berftte©*«lci5cxKfeRH8Hx zerstoert, die Mischung d^^r Eh^n^n von 

. ^ , " f'aul halten" 
Ausdruck ( "Kackstuehlchen?) und -efuehl fcR,Ss.Mk,sfer^^rfe« stellt 


^e rbe Satire neben f jgt-kj^tschigej^ m antik . Df« Unend- 

lichkeit und Offenheit der Form strebende n-ii|r .1 j Kon - — 

v4ntion/|benutüt *«*, um Sie Eomanttk selbst ad abaurdw zu 

Bild der/^ssöxiHiHR Reaiitaet her zu zerstörten . Ideen wie - 

Zerrissenheit", die verlorene Einheit der vom Sprachgenie ge- - 
Schaf fenenwHfelt, die aristokratische UeberRlegenheit des 

bohemien ueber d4e Bourgeois, die \nnaeherung d^r Form an __ 
das -Weltbild HtRsr offener oder panenergisch durchtraenkter 
Formen «rkiaKXRH weisen Heine in die romantische Tradition 


tbst w«' er XRiR« sich äe*i-st cv#s Widersacher *e*- iij^w bl 





esthtetischettal^ff'nhonrilQjD Poesie versteht. 


. ,_ ^ Ueber das Romantische hinaus weist der s^il auf den 
Weltriss, der v^jt dem Bild der "schlechten -egenwartl!_ zu 

gründe liegt. Die erfahrene l-7irklichkeit deckt sich nicht mehr 
.^,^y'...^5^_..'^!ii?iellen "Wirklichkeit der buergerlichen Welt. 


K^irktkxMH Ihrer r^iiinheit jBHfeissKtejcHtR als Taeuschung und_ 
selbsttaeuschung entlarvt, ^m Ende der v^n Goethe verkoer- 

perten " Ktiinstperiode" xteRkfe ergibt sich der Vorst-ss in 


^x« ei ne neue R ealitaet^ d^ Zeitkritik fuehrt eine neue, 
destruktive Wirklichkeit b±h in das 'Er^^^usstsein ein, der 

Stil vjird zur Verfremdungstechnik, 

^ ^^-aus der 

Der Jude Heine, Jude zv?eiter Generation, »5?^«*»^ 

MiR"TJelt des Schachers'>.-T^r~hitte die Varnhagensche'Goethe- 
berehrungy als ebenso unangemessen fuer sein Leb^sqpfuehl 

erfahren v?ie di^^ns •sche'ümstilisierungirler juedischen ' ' 
Tradition. Er hatte sich taufen läss^nV^^^H nppörl:un"ist isch,""' 
ohnedie Re-Integration zu erfahren, die ein v^ahrer GFslnl^ings- 
viandel zumindest moegüch gemacht haette. ~ 


30 ging der Riss durch die -;irkli«hkeit , die 


Erfahrung der vielschichtigen Realitaeten, durch sein» eigen 

Person. Die Spannung war mit seinen Voraussetzungen nur 

temporaer ueherwindbar s die Flucht in den Saint Simonismus, 

die -ij^ahme des ne^nGlaubens, erlaubte es, den gesellschftllchen 

Lebenshorizont, <:.i^ Ärfe5f-Ha£noniÄ=:,^ Geschichte^ -egenviart 

und Zukunft, Glauben und Wissen, Existenz und Essenz HufexÄRxx 

l.ideologischeHXÄJCKHRx zu T.e^^-t««TT!?Sblieb die bittere Ironie 

i^die ueber den Kangel an Gegenwart ebenso taeuschen wuerde wie 
.ueber die Disharmonl^es eigenen Daseins zwischen nicht ab- 
zuwaschendem Judentum MHÖ,deutschem Sprachgenie und ^i^„fci^s.R-_x^^, 
zukunftsglaeublgem Ref ormanspruch. Die Stilkonvention der 
.| Romantik offenbarte den Rruch der buergerlichen Realitaet 
j.^fc®"5^.JSl?5 als die au^ juedischer Srf ahrung-u«^_j«*«äi 
ji^^m^^r- stammende D istanz yon einer schmerzenden iJelt durch 
Ironie, Selbst -Ironie mi^ - dieverharmloste Aggression 





de.s Ohnmaechtig leidenden, oft gegen sich selbst gpv?endet, 
1 alles Postieren zerstoerend, selbstfdasP^^sH^^n der 

Gesinnungsgenossen ( "Eiserner Immermann? ) . 


Die Parelleitaet zum Jung-Hegelianismus zeigt ein 

Vergleich mit Bauer, Feuerbach oder Karx mit aller Schaerfe. — 
Die " v?ahre I7elt" der sozialen Gerecht i??ke it , der existentiellen 
Endlichkeit, der hungernden Koerper, viurde inxKBrtHRxjtMKxawx . 

entv/eder sozial als Zukunft Europas oder pKrs.^RxitKk aestlftisch 
als Bekenntnis zum Koerper ( den Judentum und Christentum 


verachtet hatten )dem Chaos der Gegenvjart gegenue hergestellt . 

Am Ende waren heide unzulaenglich, mr# c(^ -^jt^m^xx Bewusstsein, 
ai-sh Aristokratx ^^ypf liöhtefe t^it i U blnib'^ff ^ machte den Schritt 


i.?.y-"^_YPl-^^T^'*^^'^^^'^^'^^^" ebenso schwer wie den Schritt vom 

Judaeo-Chri^tj?^ntum zum Kellenismus? dichterisches Schöpfertum 
V7uchdaus dem Pathos der Zwiespalte, den fuer die zweite 

. .1 


Generation unloesbaren xi?kHRwr©rt?rkBrifeHw iJidersnruechen *r 

kleidete ■ 

zwischen den Kulturen, romantische ?:onventiony vwr*»xviKix 

2BKferEkkxs?xzMKxifKl5xx die vielschichtige Form ÄRrFrsryeh??i9?3ri:?refkKR 

im Werk 

•f^^ • • • » » •*-•■ ^M » »- "T ■ ■— ■ '■ ■■■■■■■ 11 » ■■ *«■'- I ^ 

»HaixteKEkx die jeyjerfasste Vielschichtigkeit der Realitaet, 


i?KsrHhBHx(SM3fehx!Sxxxx die Keines stßtsritsKhef Grenzsituation 

M*f/ -i*«'m i*^^k 

allein zum einheitlichen ^^erk machtet sein Pr'^test in ^j-rnr 

unUi'i»*/'«^ *. / j 

Ricivfewr? entsprAcl;)« dicae u i nbJvmbbJL -!!»f»»ft^ Jx^ ßi*U(ti hii»'***'^'^ 

MW<W" tHri<L\9U'iciuU4 ^<AO^ ^^^y^JU) UlL^l 






Haines Stellung zum Juciontun^ ist nicht nur v^n preussisch^^ri 
R^gierungsbeamten, spaeter v^n Treitschkp und seinen Nac?hf ^ld<=^rn 

in the Kritik am ••Juodischen Geist", als Ausdruck iuedischer ' 

t Existenz verstanden worden. Die vom Juedlschen ausgeh'^nde Kritik| 

i ■ ■ •. 

' hat teö?MKxsriKkxc*srX'ÄMfi' darauf hingeiwiesen - am klarsten ^^.Leschni 

I - ■ ■■ 

nitzer - > dass Heines Erlebnis des stuermischenWeges der 

|-juedischen Emanzipation spiegelbildlichen Ausdruck fand 

in seiner SwWMJttMWx Selbst -Stilisierung als r^m^ntisch- 


. zerrissener Maertyrer fluer eine Utopie^ t^xm die in einer ■ 

schlechten und unwahren Zeitmlt religioeser Leidenschaft 

zum Zentrum seines eigenen Glaubens erhoben hatte. 

De© friiiehe Heine katfeK hatte ^iRxKf^wxx die Auf- 

^ erstehung <^gsry:ft:KkjgS[x neuer "mimositaeten gegen Juden erlebt 
MtfT(ä.x2Rx2srri'tRx Die Burschenschaften in Bnnn hatten ihn 

miti^rer Teutomanie angewidert, und die auf die "Hep-Hep*' 
Bewegung folgende ani^i-ljueddbsche Propagandaliteratur und 

die anti-Juedische Gesetzgebung der preussischen T>egierung 
hatten ihm, wie Beber ne, <ä«Äx die Kluft zwischen seine« 

V- --- 

Selbst -Einschaetzung und derSinschaetzung öon Juden und 


Judentum durch seine Zeitgn^4>955en als K'^nflikt der "Tdenti- 

taet*' zu Bev?usstsein gebracht.Älmansor , der Rabbi von Bacharach 

sind literarische Ergebnisse dieses auf das Juedische Zurueck- 

geworfxenseins, und seine kurze Mitgliedsch^-^ft in dem aus 

jungen Juden aehnlicher Er§btoungslage zusammengesetzten 

lh. i>v_i_l^ 

HO«- r+^^ 

Verein fuer Cuttur und Wissenschaft der Juden v;ar der Versuch^ 

der Tradition rxrrptx den Sinnzu verleihen, der sich "älis~"dem 

von Schlegel und vor allem Hegel gelernten Bild von Kunst, 

Wisschnschaft, Geschichte und Zeitgeist fuer das v-^n seinen ~ 

Lehrern als zeitgejichichtlich irrelevante Judentum rf^wlnnen ~ 

lassen vyuerde. Dieser Versuch mlss^angsseln Freund Gans, wie - 

a44fe Jung-Hegelianer ( mit Ausnahme von M^ses Hess n^^teh— thm-) 


Mi/. U " )"J 

— « 

sah nur Im Aufgehen des Juedischen und des Judentums in der 
allgemeinen Kultur der Zeit die Loesung ftier diP irrelevant 


gewordenen Formen einer inhaltlich durch d^n "Fortschritt der 
,(^:l}^A£t liehen, HS) Vernunft" ueb^rh^iten RPligion. Die 
Spanni;.ngen, diesich aus der Ünentrinnharkeit «us einer leer 
J gev?ordenen Gruppenzugehoerigkeit ergaben, sollten durch 
die Taufe geloest v>erden. Tatsaechlich tö jedoch 


Hpine zu 

keiner^^eit imstande, xJjRseinsio schillerndes Verhaeltnis 


zu se iner Herkunft gM in ruhige Selbstsicherheit zu verwan- 
deln. D4e Taufe folgte die Depression, dem Verlust'^ ^.7u7zeln'" 


die religioes gefaerbte Annahme des Saint-Si"monism"us und '^es 

noch sehr theoretischen und innerlich ^HS^iitHBBiiHxx gespa"l-~" 

;enen ProphetenfeMrcx-und Aposte|ftims fuer die vulg.->erlihe'ralen~ 

_ des _ 


Ideen der Zeit und thr«»- noch Kfep^iiafa}, utopisch und vor-' 

Marxisch, vor-"wissenschaf tlich" ver^at^ne"n" rp"v^lutiapr-n 
I DeexxxäiR vollen 

"Communismus".xKMHr MirkÜEhRxr'itgliedschaf t im Bund c\nv'^' 


Serechten warxMRiHKXHiEfefexHKrxxHxxHkrxx Heines Selbst- 

verstaendnis als Dichterprophet, Genie und Aristokrat 


im TJege, selbst wenn er die volle Bedeutung seiner Propheateiunge 

lieber die 25ukunftige Rolle des Communismus und die Eigentums- - 

lehre der Saint-simonisten besser vorstanden haette - 

,. '^.|)j^ -Mi^ . ^ 






-f -•! 

- * '\ 




Ein der Kompliziertheit des Problem angemessen begrenzte 

isiräxARSix Gebiet der Analyse bietet sich in der Frage an, 

V7as eigentlich an "Juedischem" in den noch persoenlich der 

juedischen Religionskultur ihrer Jugend vhaftet gev/esen 

,. _ . 4 




Denkern der flehen Emanzipationszelt sich nach^-^spn liesse. 
Das Gebiet ist einzuengen auf das Spezifisch Politische und 
soziale Denken dieser MenscheoyxMR* Im Einzelben ist 


zu fragen, pb slchaust der juedischen Tradition ihrer Jugend 

I " " i i i 

im^ukKKx eine juedisch-spezif ische Haltung zu politischen 

und sozialen Fragen zeigen laesst: gibt es eine traditinnale 

jurdische Theorie der Politik und Gesellschaft, oder zumind 

dest, lassen sich die traditioallen juedischen t^erhaktensvieiseh 

-1 . 

nnerhalb der geschlossenen Gemeinschaft s-typi sehen Oragnisat- 


ion der Gemeinde.-'^Tnirfner' typischen Theorie zusammenstellen? 
Gruendet in 

l^rsrtbtrxKlskx&KXiCKryxiit dieser Theorie, einer Ethik und einem 

ihr eigenes System von Werten und ±^tmM±BV[ Beziehungen, aus 

denen sich eine Art von " Sti}" juedischen politischen und 

sozialen Denkens und Verhaltens etablieren leesst? Laesst 

es sich zeigen, dass die politischen Umstaende der juedischen 

Emanzipation in Deutschland jtxxrx Juedische politische- 

und soziale Theoretiker in 9hkzx Positionen brachte, die 

der Zeit als so radikaleG^egensaetze erschienen wi* etwa 

Liberal, Conservative, sozialistisch, nationalistisch, - 

getauft oder juedisch-gruppen-orientiert, dass Ätsth aber — 

d:»3t]ekxRiifisrxxRjt9lr8r±Kk«rR:clRxARaiyxsxXR±9KR gevrisse Stil - und 

Wert -Elemente allen Denkern einer solchen Gruppe gemeinsa 


waren ? 

Ergibt ein Vergleich mit nicht -juedischen Vertfetern 

poiitroschÄH-philosophischen Grtppe, der sie angehoeren^ 
dassdiese Elemente kyistsKkKx tatsaechlich nur in dieser 

Suspraegungder juedischen Gruppe zuzuschreiben sind - 

Q e st p 11t ^ ^ ^ 

dann waere zuindest der Versuch auf eine* sTcherereif Basis^ 

vom juedischen Charackter 

gewisser theoretischer Traditionen zu sprechen, oder etwa 
aie Frage nach der Eigenart und damit Separatheit dteses 
juedischen Stroms in der Geschichte des politischen 
Denkens in Deutschland zu sprechen, d.h. die Trennung des 
Deutschen vom Juedischen bereits in jener Fruehzeit zu 
finden, in der die Hoffnung auf eine plurale Gemeinsamkeit 
noch die Segenwart mit der Zukunft diskontierte. 



• TA'^'^^ V'" y<^P'v>'fc'^j 



(X (J 


Switzerland Ui.,-/ 


On December one,1943,jI finally reached 
jB hacTjglimpsed vagely t4ii±Bsfe the ienee-s of ,^pris 
andJl^amp^"^since we had crossed its frontiers from Nazi 
Germany.'jVif^ had been l^ifee^e^a^^d: i fixom mternment m work camp 
Sierre^ My fellow internees had sent me ofi with 
a fpartyl wintfe and cheese/the evening before, tfae water color 

- » . Saul, had drawn for the occasion suh»-^ the 

/\ ^ j _ ' ' - ( 

X friendly feelings between us!^ided/\by a decently 

y^ Sketch 

nude blond/.(fiorthwards ) I f ly , gr inning beatif ically^^ in suit and 



woip^clothsr crocodije tears trickli 




'^j— T7 

I I,, 1 faces. .Pb-^»a € thg firs1- rorn n ml jjLaLuiib!ur'3inG ^--fe 

ingiiiyL> =gf 



my ' mi: ' 

Gemeinschaft Si a sea.of 

U ^^^j^^%^ ' V -Vir ac^ 

,'>C^ti <jV' U^«^ "^ * tertle^,a new layer of life «ganr^t the Jöeath-dea 

hl H oli; K / 


ling^I nad 
tu ludke Llie best of it, — not - t e — tet 


to bury .3^^^^^^ 
-iqg^^^t royW ; Sau je caught the emotional subtleties that 
had survived my months of being hunted in Berlin, the . . 
will af-^L-.öjtot4oft« to keep that stiff upper lip, to 
iuturi^ , #3rTn'e)Lli Lhu i"Mjiiif(L i fdl ■ yiiil icsi^d^c-gjf the rose 







in the thorn 
s tudo 

t — my favorite H^i degger- 
Oewith hdd li S IL i-H -> my mproo -aey 

fr am hri = g dris 

■-"hfsrt Dxy 

Hegel ' s pbtlos^ijphy- in q Gtudy ctlf^lüLS 


I hftd not lost my capacity for fr^i^endship, I had responded 
to[request$ f or help^t would marry the woman I had been i^gjttn b 
those tense months and years in Nazi Berlin; I had remained 
open and qpmradely and ouldiKHXH understa^d soon that if pri 


' ..- o 


^ecu^tion hadreenf orced aig>udC ± i ane f ^ d-^ attitudes 

-nd values "P--hnri -tittH rrrl in mr in Cf^rmnny it WHSXBay 

"T^wards \ 

had jXDintecL^pe to^rivacy, innerdirection to the point of 




assertion of i:^eindependence 

Ti) almost 
of my earlier years transxformed into a. physically feit 

(\ Z^^ 


power ^ o4r 

WJ<i (^y^ ^^^^iA±t^^!cmn\^i>J^.A^ 

I had met too many petty minds using [>ii I j if^|iiiriSry'"°'^Tr^^ /| 


faringstftig: afapiat infini;te evil over others . 

gut i f EE^ng I expressed 



I recognized JkhaixxHKxs ti^at in 


not onjy ji/\ emotional reaction 


I recognized that ^rötest against authority and disgust 
with thtL wdoercion to which the Jewish Community was 
subjected by the regime had deeper roots than ideologyx 


/l4^^^o /^ 


or the primitivism of the 


ir biolotjical world viev^ human di^ni^y 

"*%»r Ö^Spending 
y n^Y ^ - I prescriptive law in the Talmud had been the t:aä^^ of a 
\ä /) f-4^ n J , ' .iiuthesis I had submitted to the Hochschule fuer die Wissen>:::r 

fAt^ ', "' ; ^'*'* ^"^ JU__schafts des Judentums as early as 1940 in Berlin. /'"^ f i^ä. M" 

yvu <>v>/v /yi^K ^^ would preoccupy me during many situations divl '1^"HHb ivir-s 

rr /TMi/Z/i^*»-"^ ^^\ I would have to face later on; MS/llUM ^1 H^IfV^j: i'jivi </, <>v».d( ^U^ 

ß '■ ■ -■ / Vr/^Tr^^i:^ - > at th^time^that «K^ ' X- ' 

I (M'! '/^ j2^0?'--^^/^V^^ I fail^d to recognizejth^^ conf lict bKtwKKH /^ 

) CSaiAV ^ f^\ '^Cl^ Ibetween nri n ii l r nr I b^ "» ' fi,» »j !ft <»##r indTv 1 d-te^ and 


;w.H^4^^^ and 4i2i^was also at the ^^of Swiss policies 
(Ui^'-^/i '^'^Ä^'^Aowards Jew^/h refugees that had iuL^ the 

between myself and Lutz EHrlichyand the Swies miixx 
frontier guard the night we ^röesed the f rentier. 



It had not occurred to me how absurd the scene 

"V had ^ advi/o^ 

Wq[S te enacted on the advice, of ^aun, Swiss (a^\*i<iö: m 

when we were sloppeS \xt>d^ fossing tRefrontier 

BerlinSKHHxXxdxEöxiKh^x - two unarmed escapees from a 

uniformed Swiss/" 
totalitarian State facing a UHifax-icr^uarding the SWiss frontier 

frontier of a democratic State XHäi^asking to be shot on the 



spot should he decide to send^s back. He blushed at the j^thought, 
to^Ttis-everlasting honory>ThQt we, the refugees/ fearing the worst 

if we failedi impressed our vision e£ Lhe wv^ah Skt^HKXHigxMg on 

4-u ^ .^ , Hmcr±t±callw^ 

that young recruit seemed natural and appropriate. That Iväccepted 

xikKxxKKKSXXHa the Swiss giXHKJfcxKHxi-.police routinespxHKKdMXK 

^A,\oc v^N^^V- instStuted to deal with illegal fKK^xiKK|xgaperless refugees,/ 

\ ^>\ arrest artd imprSünm^nt^^^g^^j^^^^ ^^^ ^ state priSj 

•V^'-p^ t 

Jewish escapaees - political vetting, guarantine^work camp x 

internment under semi-miiitary KHHäiÜHHs restrictions i» 

PDHbiii^y - as absolutely correct and appropriate measures 

sprang no doubt from the deep sense of liberation, the 

int Lixication of being saved from threats made more ominous 

(at tat iime, mid-19 43) by their deadly vagueness .Growing up power.^^ 

less un brutally violent and totajly arbitrary police - 

Secret police, S.S. or S.D. - power, i had learned to deal with 

the^ediate and concrete since " the System" that det^r^mined what 

happened to me was beyond 



from /'''^Rä^''''''^^^ """^ ^^^ this legacy that had skapsäx kept 
me to think' about Swiss polcies towards refugees - Fluechtllngs - 
politik - during our.: three years in Berrf.s I concom trated 
on my studies ^ we married and set up a Joint household in 

rEHiiäx^eÄjt'furnished roomr^lp'ent two Summers assisting in an 

/ and Solothurn . ^ 
excavation project of the Bern (His-törical MÜseuiy, involved myself 

inworking with the rabbif and the adult education systeii| ^ 
the "Israelitische Kultus gemeinde" , took part in the 


(probably unique) soiability of the Bern refugee Community 

KHHKKKxJfex guided by Gertrud Kurz, a ^ WbefwSB-l^^ political 
4iid"religipus activist for the giHKxifisi' wea^%Kace movement 
and on behalf of refugees at a most critical moments of 
\i|^ ] Swiss Fluechtlingspolitik ifeK and the most unforgetiable 

gerfer' equajiity 
/ embodiment of the best of the SWiss traditions of ^igk^iH^xfKKixHix: 

axHH^xiHxJKttxgx x while only SWiss men had the right to vote 
in national and many cantonal elections.. 

But, unless iw memory deceives me, we were also 

cut off from Information - print and radio - about the most 

^""^ the ^ 

hemous crime affect^gour people, M^cevolving geocide i» 

against the Jewish people in Eastern Europe.None of the Jewish 

officials in Bern, none of the^,federal civil servants we met 

as social contacts evolved, however sparsely,none of the 

several Eastern European Jewish activists we would meet in 


the Schonebergs' house in Lausanne ever spoke of the 

In late 1944 I saw 
catastrophe. ;^\XhK typed or mimeDfapfeiphed reports by church 

I ^^.^^ / ^y^c'^c 



fs Swis 
__^---^ — ■ \ Nazi 

reteresentatives who had eyewitnessed the mass murders, ]at least 
' „ such 


one lagExreport by a joHäiKHix a meminber of a SWiss medical 

talks in Geneva 
delegation to Poland ,;.«v with a Polish-Jewish political person 
and organizaön leader Zavde 

tavellin^between Paris and Geneva ( Mr/^y8ef about events in Maiixs) 

\ T ' *^taa?1^ '^° ■"■ ^®"'®"^^®^ being aware of what vv>©t*id_JaÄ3:rKKiKKifcHxi 
iKjä -bejcalled xx "an abiding sense of guilt" on-ttTe~cönsctm^-W 

1 tt <^ vrr^ ^ 

Swiss government officials in World War II - the closing gt the 
Swiss front<)ers to Jewish refugees seeking asylum and rescue from 
deportation Wsetrn Europe from 1942 on O^^ ■( Ur^ a^o^jA g jy^U^f ^ 




In the mid-1990s, I paid a nostalgic visit to 
the City of Bern and the ufaiversity , the archives and the library 
the Stadt-und Universitaetsb<*bliothek. KsiKExiaf My teachers , or 
the beloved faculty Secretary FraeucLein Crivelli and her 
colleagiÖ^ Herr Jost, were long gone from the ecene , theiir Vi w/:^ - 
papefsy|had at least some obituaries ami-Bio-biblioiiaphias 
to anchor my notes in time. I had not expeted more when 
I yiejded to my impulse, except for the personal pllsure of meeting 
with some of their children and projecting their fatherä'' 
^ ifigm^^ into their preäent behavior. Some ofthe men (no women!) 
' whoem I had feit dosest to - Otto Tschumi, Fritz SrxtSrich, 

Werner Naef KiÖMHr^x JWt^vQn Greyerz, appear to have left no 

wiihxx (!|f / WitTisome o^\---y 
progeny,ßf/my theii fellow stu dentf I had pxBsexxKÖ loxiHtHiHHä 

succeedad^ in- tnq-porSort&l'' 

QQDtaeded tia maintain contacs pverxikKxyKarsx many yyears even 

after leaving the city, or g«±rietrne"w frfiends through them 


dur^ng freguent Visits over 45 years. ( i speak of our personaÖ 
friendJlater on) . I had been in sporadic contactwith Werner Naef 's 
assistant Ernst Walder and was glad to visit with him and his wife 
again^ after many years , and enjoyed serious intelleatual professi 
nal contact with Prof.Wal^ilr Hof et, who siadL^^^^^g had 
not been a fellow Student ^^hi^ attended Bern UNiversity^xüax . 

> C A^ 





• • 


First thnings first: I had arrived in Bern^ am- 

/ H ^ Ar y V 

o -£ Lhe rir^L J<4yib-J^ Ddcember 1943, " on leavell^f^qm^ th^ ^J| ^ ^ 


labor camp XxhaöxJsHHHxs^iaxKäxHWHyxxxHXjEiaxKiHkej my con 
to Swiss agricula ctural prodlcrTSl^ -cfi^aiiiiy ^tmiSt-ieöats 

llf^y^ acui^rgi 


it appeared 

like a'*fftiaeaei-e that 



^ypt^^4„p ^-«^B In some ways, 
bureaucracy t 


tJ»g>fa?ed[^frlej^.«raggx1SxfeRä x wi fehou t -^ ^ "^ pa s s p o it^ tS,^;;^ 

took less then six months tOget me free. It helped that a wealth; 


uncle of Lotte ' s 

, my? wif e for 


six| decades^had been living (and pay$ng taxes) in Lausanne 
I VV ^ru'^^»'^J> ^^^ hadä^been helpful to Swiss military intelligence on some 

ar proug. L iQiJQ, It helpe* 

. OrvAMr^^ l^wirtvv economic and ^sd'^onnpl 

O^^- ctu^ ^ that my life-^in Berjin and my studies at the last remaining 



Institute of higher Jewish learning - the (then famous) Hoch- 
schule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Brlin - iTiust--4aa-ve- 
an open book for anybody interested: in S^eptember 

distinctic^ of appearing in-^the 

>andsl the '' -^ i imr^^ ' 1 

19 43 I even had the 

G^öisr Law Gazette as one of the thous 
' ^.deprived of hife- German citizenship and -dori f i brU.a t od ^ ^IJL-fei 

proper ty i " / i i im i i muh tof i'i ' »t'mhiii i n j i - n- orif^ni i C of course 


^ ^ - - ^ — 

I did not own a farthing and had been a Student at a i>«MKw a 
respectable Jewish seminary in Berlin directed by distnctly iten- 


communist estab&ishmenti J e3u?iohr'"d^f:Tn xtar '^'^ "' — ^--^ 


,>-grh»e^had .begn pr^jg^d^^^H^ 


men and women 



=fnTTffn nw 
my professional and 

.einert , Hu^^Wagner and )\ t '^'^ Ko 

in Bern/ fellow studejjrts like Hertl 

of f icials 

ike "Fraeulein Cri^elli" and "H^r Johst", the sympa 

.md most helpful üb; 
' Eafe: r^SttSafe my home ei' 

lans-^at the STadtbiblio 
rs a day five to 





the abo 

aix days a week 

mfe to researc^Tand write my disse^ation^f^^^eirr-ar- 

10 months it took 

o I ~his-t^3 

^nees^^ -t-he - pro Loco«4:i 

b^ffl äamcnt 

dipat^ in tti b- Fr ank frtlrb^atriskri ruh e -±rr-i-8 

49 ^ th at 



»pnsor Werner Naef had"go 

Those years in Bern rejained a glow in my memory that 

was derived,! ' believe, as much from my own feelings and 
my responses to the world of history I was immersing 
myself^from the euphoria of having biLjiLiL^l them, from the 
1 sf^^fF of being on tiö;^-id^^r vacations in the in- 

comparable Iriangle of natural beauty that I got attached 
to - Bern, Lake Geneva, Rhone Valley, V^jOetschberg^ Lake 

/ WV ' t^r"^ ^'i"^ ^«c 

Thun, Emmental, Lake Aeschi (the site of/ fcwo excavatipn 
l"''^iiii < i i i DiuLiw itfi nrI hnrn^Ahünsl Lhu guuLlf rürLiiHfi' 





j*iMM*- ema f^4#tt^- and ExixKSxiikKxßKXHi those pp^^^v-b^^^'of"! 
yicultural andjpolitical history, the>. eitles ««^ 

During those years. and for some time a*%le%pl had found my 
\v A ^^^ ^^ "^ final home in New Yor^ train trips alon^ "my triangle",. a^ "'^ 


i^UN^^/ ^Jl^ 

ar automobile trip to "our" suipipr places on Riederalp 
and in Pontresina - Valais and Entgadin - would 


time- dimens-iorw 

>i i 



■ ) -V 

fused with jim^ 

On balance, ouS three years in Bern ' ( .^^^^^^ i Ottey 
Neuchatel) remain in my memory as rieh and quietly happy times at 
the edge of my (probably delayed) maturity wedged in between the 


1 { I 






w\horrors of KarxtiioE persecution realities in war-time Berli: 



and the end of our innocence - my innocence - sfxthKxxäHg^jfcft etf thel 

masa murder and brutality that the g^^ili^j^Per-^j^ societyy in which 

( 11 had grown up had ' i^^i«=fe^d vJJSHOh one of i^ö^n most vulnerable and 

most creatcbve components^ I- 

Jewish communit 


IraPCnS^L- It may be hard to believe 

in retrospeiit: Swiss ^ensorhip - military censorship - of 
news about the persecution and murder of Jews in Eastern Euro- 
pean mass executmons appeared to-mie more rigorous and tight 
than what «gt-J^^Aa^ e nhl n -Ug^ liLarii while we livedin Berlin 



we were not included in whatever rumor socity existed 
in SWitzerland, we did not learn from our teachers and other 
well-placed sources like foreign journnalistswhat "informed circ- 
les" wh(i)spered about events in Eastern Europe. Studies of^"atrocity 

sto _ 

KäoI aJ/90 

"ii^: ? 

f ound 




c^eated doubts about wj 


reports circulating 

through the Schoenebrg's house in Lausanne/ 

^ . ^ . n Q V^ cV V V A\ Co h )^/)0 

Swiss medical attO. ^ x Q t.a&t^jxt eyewitnesses^or from l6ttei/s by 



On balance, the three years we lived in S w± t J^ ^-^: 
from May/a^tifte 19 43 to October 19 46 belong to tho happiest 

years of ig^ liyef, including those 




yars m Wuerzburg HHÖ^xaJfcxJfehKxsHKiHxixiQK:^ . 

They were of course far from carefree, Step by step 

I stppped fighting the recognition that the worst we 

had kÄesm^-SriS^suspected while we lived in Berlin was only 

a pale abstraction of what ^^as happening in feh«? infernosy 



r f amil ii 


.- ^^, _, s esA I ii<u< — onrly-^-sho^c-fe^-t. i-iu^ 

with tk«it nagging pain 
., in our bodies, \i^Af below e» ^ATV>ui^ tos thouaht or arti- 

-fii^i ^/^^ 

culation. Ever since I had seen women in iSrael mourning 
their loved ones I knew that our culture had left us 

^w^^tei the Q::oinfmin-ädfeY' 



24, 1943, a 

d^äs^ we had each other. On March 
solemn Swiss public registry official in 
Bern gave the State • s blessing to^our marrying each other: he 
fead to overcome the authorities ' a flnancial scruples - we must 
have been among the most destitute couples of the yeariin / 
the cifry of Bern, 4ht j y w u uld have Lo pMmrtll ii infu^ Uo 11 we " 
tccam o pii hlin r hi^rg.eq , -tst n^, ^ course, there were l>be bureaucrati 

tic irregularities about this union, smce we had carried 
^^^^^^f^^ no identifications with us when we ^JQ^i 

S Vl : 

rndr- aunt in -fi ausanne küdXMffljüjaüJLAKd 

5^^V/ if U^ n i'/l (\t^{y<\ ^Luc3c±iy-7 
\\a\^(^ hiaa^j i)|'y/^ /, sMbH±SH±xH±xtiaxihE "by theh had lived-ii=i-this-^eurrbry f< 

)| ^^A^^a1r^ w lAA^th) ^l) 

oli]tV^ k'" 


.' ^'^ /■ 

f '"/f^ ' [ey tMCGÖtf/<^H 




" ff 


\/l\ ilr^ p^UC^. 


It took only a few weeks to enrol the Swiss 

we had made in Bern to ^ l i tic r**' the honorable registrar 

- a Swiss emigre retured rom Egypt for the durartion 
olthe war and thus " new atii job", we were comforted — 

J s-kax * 


wi€h kka chcracter witnes^ that tHsxäy to our being 

*^ - ( e^ 


uprright Citizens , "raechte Luet". The most hilarious was 





an Intervention by the f amily Lotte was m^^e^^ilw workin"^ as 
a household aid ineighbors complained that their maid was 
receiving "male visitors" beyond^ theifixpxiox res^estable 
'^M'^ :v: /ii(r/ curfew hour cpf ten p,m. and thereby denting ""XTp^epu 

^ ' ' ^ Ü LL t'i C Y 

he promised LOtte to drop a worc in J^i^ ' jj^^ ^'- B-^öi^n f 

tation« r 

Office G r^^^T^gir ' -470?^ T atajp^ to Kisifax^xiK 4i|< exped^; 




the Federal Alien 

r fWci-lto W^'^" decisioon-making 

\A4 e ^v"^ w4!4t-^ Police «.[iLiMiiiünLA volunteered to say ^ ^pgjiä word to our 

Regipistrar when he would hö^,^ te» monthl'yAlunclTön with his 
cantonal counterparts .On March 24, 1944, we were married in the 

.^r'«-"*'«*«- .. 




c Voi: 

Ri^istrar 'smodest but tastefully appointed officeLn a slightly 
quaÄnt ceremony before tdw witnesses, my Berlin friend Lutz 

Etjrlich and a 

in town whom we had met socially. That the worthy registrar 



read us a prepar^^ text. admonishing us to virtH^arid the 

of 19th Century vintage»gave his earnestness the i^-efiö: tone 

that made it pleasurable Jf ^t^ -V/, 

The religious ceremony rabbi Eugen Messinger arranged for us 

after the "civil" act lacked the l^ ^t¥Kfea that reached us from 

^ I 

the charming (and unsel^consqious ) anachronism/of the Registrar 's 

^( ^> 


language - thetraditionärli marriage contract I signed before 
witnesses ha^ the form of a legal gontrufaM : dating back 



to about 500 AD. It kad retained its Aramaic form ( for 
which Im needed a dictionary since I had:.;vnever officiated 

i n 

at a wedding in Berlin - alas ) j, AND gave no room to senti- 
^^'*'^ vV^- Vl'Wy«.^ J^^jL/ VWP^Ilßv^ 

lur pa y^n-t-, c! 


t/ or hllarity in its 

Iß ]Uii t^^'\ \IUl (hV who would havq given the occasion the emo-tional 



irbh the tears she shed at 

room with the memory of our families. We became 
firm friends with her and her husband^two of the many 

sincere ^KwishxSwiss Jews who 

the bitter 


. / 


times that had brought us together ,/"i^ <^^^ V^ ä/aljfe^ 

-^ What began at this wedding set the tone for ou: 
zTves in ettiH"T?;Q.r1 ■^md';p<abbi Eugen Messinger, who was probably 
HbHHixKiyxHgKX ^Bsfe^ /jßtve to ten years older than me, and his^\wif( 
became/closa^^/frierras Trtllr"^^^" 1" <^ nafi ^fnr^Tntn /si 
teach Hebrew courses and lecture in his adult ed:^cation 
divisi on, ÖT" pi?«fra^^\some essays on Jewish hist^iriogphy , do 

invite|ä me to 

V some bock rviews oh^ewish — Christian issues , and on o\, f ew 

occasions, jpuda^'.the three-men collegium ß he had formed 
toreceive Chrisian women into the Jewish^^'^^^spQ2:>/in advance 
of marryin^ a Jewish husband,. The Jewish culture of the 
Bern Community resembled the Somth-German pattern ^ 
closely enough j_n social character and religcboud practices. 
to add an undertone of continuity and warmth to their 
professional care for the new ref ug§es . Bern Jewry, like SWissi 
Jewish congr^tions, however, did not conform to my ethnic 

phantasies: Many of the active members of the congregation 
had been relatively recent Immigrant from Eastern Europe, 
as had been some of the physyicians and .professaors of medici 








ijpabbi Messinger 's father had come fromEastren Europe 
5Ti<ä ike RabbiHXKHix Vienna and its rabbinical ^cademy, 
many others, the most "native" s£$rxx©d thelr origina i^ Iff pM 

'Alsatian ümjß^^^^^ssstx family njfc — : n mi^Jtuxe^ 

core of original SWiss Jewish cattle »dealers domiciled in two vi 

vijjages in the Aadirgau ( EndingerL^and Lengnau) MMrtrui ' ü MBern 

cantonsfvaended ceni 

and other mx^gjx citiej:I||| "cantonsrJended ''centuries of 

$ ^ m^J swiss 

exclusion and fdiscrimintitionylallowed «ksixxHWK Jews the same 
right to live within their frontiers that they had been 

forced to grant Jew^^-6f--for^ign na'tioilty (e.g.FRench) \\\ 

internationally agreed reciprocal rightt osr settlemetit . 

(At the time, about half of the Jewish ppulation living in 

' \M ^ ^ Vs'JL- — ^ 
Switzerland-aififof foreign nationality) . 

eni>exed aroup* i:he ttn>versit_^^, 



< l_ 


, Vi,/ ^ ■ Iv*^"^^^ t "^'f ''" 



\ ■ 



'*a veritabL 


änö fehe d 

' More than*^. 


^/ c?.^ 1 

/ A 

5Ls i\ 

&.:../;.;■. Mi^^'j^.;-f.^ 


k*:^,the heroine of Swiss folklore 

ainst tyranny. 

fe somewhat lethargic Student 

Council or most of my professors, she conveyed an aura of-. ^4 ^^eW' 
breadth and universalism ti<fjßst^ in her social activism and/ pölitical 
engagement that contrasted distinctly with the harsh image 

1 w 

;W " ^ 

ti HcAh 





of rrl n hl 1 n h inrni- German State Protestantism ( she admired Bonhoeff' 
fi||e^ gnd Karl, Barth, the German Confssing ChurchjK ( Bekenntnaikirche) 
the Berlin resistance pasfor Niemoeller^ ny^xar ...^i-^tj ^.t^^ 
idea of a post-war reconciliation/ 
f oll O.W hei/lwhile our wound/were wipSSiiUkft^'.'^Y ^inpathy with her 

upheld the 
victims, could not 

oolled towards the end of the war over her supi 

Mos^cow- directed "Movement Free Germany " c> cg= ^fou g fa ^an 
^ refugee ( a relative of th^histori an Heif^rich Fri'eajung) and I 
rked cl 

ly with her when we d«^s%^ ' an" Iftformationjsdienst'y 

reaiities of 1*e re-migration from 

Swjr Sb p o-3=4cires^ f o rsLal 

ederal Alien Police departmen" 
a permanent stayof rfugees 

in the country. (I typed ijay dissertation on thie agency ' s new bab; 

|^<ir'Hi;^ typewriter in 1945/46 ^theSwiss and refugee members of the board 

were glad to help.^jx worked of course without pay).pOlice concernj' 

that mejny refugees jwould stay permanently in the country were 
y\l/V'^' __ — ---"^-. eased considerably when sometivmes in 19 45/ ch-^£A-^u^t groü^'of 

7' ii st AjJvf'^i/r..-'-^^'^^^^ travellec^'Via Southern Italy to Palestine without the 

benefit of British visas.) _^^^^^^^^^^^.^^^^--^^«^— -r.- 

"^luy"/ rpi-iV a^^^^H It igay. have thken about 2 years until the friendly 
^ , /, , sociaR iMty IxxHSxsurrounded ./us in Bern' s Jewish Community and am 


p ^ U f ^'** 

new friendships precisely becausel 

Lotte graduated f; 

from her laboratAory training course in Nluchatel and -h-öd f ,^ 

found a first employment wih an ophtalmologist.. the § major Bern 

/l ^^^»> 


the Inselspital% I received 

encouragement from 

te instr uctors 


at the Universitaet in seminars and exercises in the classroooms, 

3^4iQl io.L ks &^i^MXth \tvio Seminarpraäafte^ ( in history and ^emitistics) 
fsrxx^x^ was invited to aswiit my prehistory/archaeology . prof essor 
Otto Tschumi ( of whom I became quite fond)ir. in thej ex:cavation of 


neolithic lake dwelling during two subsequent summerslyoined in 
week-long excursion to Lake Geneva and the Rhone valley org^nize^' 


f Kl>' 


\ ^N <U 

'<a veritableStauffacherin"xHSKix»^,the heroine of Swiss folklore 


U /i 



fehe defengerpf liberty against tyranny. 

' More than the uni'versity or its somewhat lethargic Student 
Council or most of my professors, she conveyed an aura of-, ^^ ^17<^,W* 
breadth and universalism k^^^^ \n her social activism and/ pAlitical 
engagement that contrasted distinctly with the harsh image 
of rrl nbl i nhmrnt German State Protestantism ( she admired Bonhoeff 

1 IV 

y " ^ 

ti V^4t^H 


jj fif^ §ßg Karl. Barth, the German Confssing ChurchjK ( Bekenntn^kirche) 
the Berlin resistance pasfor Niemoeller^. H^cj^xHMTf^jiL upheld the 

fWe, mostoVictimS; could not 


idea of a post-war reconciliation/ 

fo 1 1 O.W li^^fjwh i 1 e our wound/were \ ^ '^ SS i^lh^^ '.'^y ^mpathy with her 

oolled towards the end of the war over her supB>prt of th' 
MosiS^cow- directed "Movement Free Germany" c>^^= CT ' ou gj y ^an f/Au-stria||i 

^lA/ o\ uji oll 

^ refugee ( a relative of th^histori an Heinrich Fri'ea^ung) and I 
worjced clo^ely with her when we dia^s*^ ^an"!tftformationjsdienst'^ 

,some realities of Ist^e re-migration from 

"ire-T^deral Alien Police departmentl 

SwJTi Sb " p^» j:Jrcires^ £ o r9Lal 




a permanent stayof rfugees 
in the country. (I typed 9iy dissertation ön thie agency's new bab^ 
typewriter in 19 45/46 , theSwiss and refugee members of the board 
were glad to helpVf ^ worked of course without pay) .pOlice concernj" 
that me^ny refugees jwould stay permanently in the country were 

i/.a=-^iÄa't qrbupv of 

eased considerably when someti. mes in 19 45. 


n' % ^ '^N^^'^iA ^^-^^^"^^ travellec^^'^via Southern Italy to Palestine without the 

benefit of British visas.) ..^«..3r-.— — —-^ '-''"'-^— '^- ...--.-^.~.-r.r-— -— 


y/ I I, . socia 

^ r fellow- 

Ulif^. and I 


(yvfciti It may. have tkken about 2 years until the friendly 
■ ■■ ■ ' IxKHXxsurrounded ."/jus in Bern' s Jewish Community and am( 

t H' 





new friendships precisely because| 
er fei^ ruture. .Lotte graduated f: 

from her laborat^ory training course in Nluchatel and -h-öd / /^ 
found a first employment wih an ophtalmologist^the ^ major Bern 

/i ^M»r 


the Inselspital^ I received 

encouragement from 

te instr uctors 

at the Universitaet in Seminars and exercises in the classroooms, 

s^^S5liared3;-grth i two Seminarpraäafi-e^ ( in history and ^emitistics)! 


fHXxxmx, was invited to aswiit my prehistory/archaeology , prof essor 
Otto Tschumi ( of whom I became quite fond)ii. in thej excavation of 



neolithic lake dwelling during two subsequent summerslyoined in 
week-long excursion to Lake Geneva and the Rhone Valley orgentze^ 




Otto Tschuni and the art history professor (HanÄIos^r) somtimes in 
19 45 v"^ Böth the excavation and te excursion provided some 
opportunity for social contacts and led to life-long friendships^ 

the first one with Ivan Tolstoi who had grown up in the.emigre 
colonoy of Pars and had fled when "fhe German, occupiers of Paris 
dargooned young French workers fear yrap^irw^y industry. He migrated to 
New Y"-^ork when a Philadelphia ^ &iri:^x\rr^, amBinber of the Barnes 


^0< ^ Of hi 

famijy, serving in the Amerika 
a»^fee U4, discovered tiR. 

fr^^conomicil) oefeu^££eft 




French tutor 



child or childrekif>'\lvan and I/^roomed together in the, hotel 


in Burgaeschi, the exc^v^ion headquarters. 
^he Tolstoi^ ( häk grandfather *^vsfe the dir 

Otto Tschumi 

£^/?(ft^^(^ of^ 


irector of the' Ermitage Mujb 
imming toqetherflr\wSA\ pulled 


in St. Petersburg) ««? did a good deal ofswimming together^S^A 

two drowned men from thexxxJ^KXx lake, one had been dead for s6me time^ 



O il^ 0^^^ 

'/v who 

i^ a localxpKHSHH^ farm hand^ had be 


unable to swim and lost his foothold when he slid into the 




deep water of the. .gsJ=eag35JüBS1H-y^ funnelshaped lake^^ 

Our friendshipyJ.asted through Ivan 's many migrations and cur resettle- 

ment in New York. XhKxxEKSKdxKlose friend Lotte and I ^ owe^/ 

to^ the expedition to Lake GenevaKksxH/a fei low Student, V%x-x Hertha 

Kleinert, learned some time after our return that' Lotte had to be 

hospitalized for z. (gynecological) surgery in Bern and introduced her 

-.v.^ ^^4.^ u ^ 4r -T Tlhey innvited LQtte to, spend some recovery time. in 
and mäyto her f amily.yihomey a spacious ranch-styie nouse at tne-^outsKirti 

f Bern jcK in the romantic EieHHH^xHHßtx 

Elfenau_?^__ vM^H.*^ 


friends against whose öeivilized style of life and work 
warmhearted family ix^R ""cpa^ d« keinD Rettungsmittel al; 
to quote a Goethe phraseiiäKHHixK T9^ (/Frenich-speaking^ 

' became wonderful and loyal 

and whose 

s die Liebe" , 

her husband Heinrich Kleinert 
author, editor (Swiss Encycl 

t , a many-sided productivdeducator, \\\^Va^i\ 
o. pedia ofi ^ducation) , physicist, mountain | 

man wflUS had JkaxsHtormed the 

an or 

climber and above all ä^ 
^^^^^^^^^o>-hardships of ^is youttj ( heärgw* up 

^^^ ly \ a nodel marriaqe. a«^ •^'^ H-4+rf=i j" ^ "* -^^>-j^p^ •p='-^ 

^"^ -^^^ , T . ^ ''i:li'^^^'Y-^, //'*^-^ our 

Vera klemert, his do ughtor s^ , ^ 

many years^aaad' many good visits^r^ven in New YÄork. 

) into a ftrri/ ÄA?is* lifeA 

fadeVöertha and later on 

Swisy friends over^f ^,^^,^^ f^Uij^^c cL.^^L (_^) M»^ ^^1^ ^'^afk'r^L 






. / lu ^a^ (ol^ 


üKx I ^*j f 


But I anticipate: Lotte and I had married in 1944, our deep 

sense of togetherness fused with the growing understanding 
of what^ we had escaped by unbelievable good luck.I 19 45, while 
I worked with a Swiss expert to collect earth^boring 
samples for a plant-hitory profile of the post/ice-age period 

for the lake - area where the neolithic village had p^em 

r T 

e dating into 



5pilt. A Bern Univers^ty laboratory 

that immediate ice-cover melt-down that h 

prehistorialp©'"^ the time./'The 1945 summjjq^r was marred by a 

first family crisis: Lotte needed gyneco'^^-*=^ogica]jsurgery for 
a ( benign) tumor. that might have destroyed the condition for 


conceiving and succespull/ comp^et*ija^ ^ a p^egnancy ' term. She found 





a university^clinic surgeon whoe persc^^ality and experience 

reassured her: and calmed my near-despair over the prospects 

of a chj^ldleSa marriage. THe Swiss medical profession - surgeons, 

general practitioners, nurses aids and nurses, Lotte* s g^necologist 

Prof. Neu^eiler - stay in our memory as caring and ]«SB^ people 

we remember fondly. T*^e S Q nigrg=ec g# respect and tr ust vras alive 

and well >! in the 1970s. long after I had migrated to New York: 

I needed an appendectomy after travelling for three weeks across 

rom Md«FfefeB^^^%^ the tip of the^~ PeTeponnesosi I was seized 
^^^ — "'Sifejf^üiii^ ^y n^w Volvo ^ 

by unrest andä^KH^ESfayssif XHxärxxKxthrough Yugo slavia and ^fetria 

r^Saturday ; 
to Lausannewhere Lotte found a surgeon in the middle otf a night - 

THe ^^M^\ \\]\\ %m I -le^s^M^di -gj^^TLOtte and theexpertise of the 

' u^^K^ ^^^iX>\]^^. surgeäon mad^my week-lomg stay in "La Source" , a I^edCross teaching 

hos^ital staffed with the friendliest of nu-rsii^ö^itÄn including 
a robuäiä Canadian -Irish|."ad;|;^ who was hap^y to have en English- 
S(peaking s^mi^-landsman und(er her care. Once rnfj^mmi, the Lausanr 





a neigbor of Ludwieg Schoeneberg; s .^/hose apartminTwe had beeen^J 

invited to use while tiWia and aunt^were on the Obliga^tory Europ« 

vacatiffimn ^ ^ (f^/ 

summerxSgaxiöcSeöaÄ^y ^§aden Baden) -^ - a Dr.Duboisi- refused 

,y to accept a fee for his Services: "You have been through enough 

J'ol am glad to help." The expenses of tha operating room and the 

week's stay - this wws the 1970s - ^ixi^^nötr^ ^ New 

ts ^S & f - to dav ,i>T%xrz^- — ^ 

I ^ 

So much for Swiss greed. Jane our only daughter was 

/"Y i^^f/s 

York hospital cos 

beafn sixe weeks after we arrived in New York ^ in Beth Israel 

Hospital on new York 's Lower Eastside. The önly jarring incident 

was the -SBk lii^iupitTri ol». 1 1 i° '"i I j'r I- f ]ij:j&- dlsjapoinment that newly 
Jewish Uma. '* * iMi\ r)v\i 

arriveoAesapee from yiEurope did not speak Y^ddjpsh ©a^tgh ij^ f ^l 
understand their learned explanantionslthy had to be asked - regre 
gretfully - to repeat their ^sSiie^ in English 




By the Summer pf ^ÄS^x 1945, two years after we had crosse^jT the 

border, the initial sense of dij)ba n k>e &d my fällow srudents had 

eased. They had the reputation of being d ^feaat , ajad/ I needed tha 

' .^ ff fif* '^ I 

sense of freedom and worked long hours attendinf classes^ /'^^^ u^^x^rg 
andworking on papersXin the end^my doctoral dissertation . 
Among students, the art historian Hugo Wagner, the secondary educl 

iter) Vis. l 

cation Student Hertha kleinert , the (later wr 




could be considered friends, each pleasant Company for different 
reason: Hugo was a learned, qi^iet, man whose decency and intelleJ 


I ; //(L- finesse has kept us friends Ha LllZLS UciTf ana ' ^tctt- i nx^Euaesf .];e 
wifß Mar iaifseeing him during the jnariy summers «pn our vacati 

^; / J, ov< ii^p^'^ Aju^^'^ Ar< da ci^ (^^ 

- /Y tf ips wlways renewf 1;;fe ^^^a a£pj^hj > amßng aAJS__fcMQ-apufil-e fi '' H» 
' J^ Kleinert 

s I mtet on ours class trip to the RHone Valley: 


i l 




I do not know whether my reading from^teb^ Duino Elegf les 

to the group directed her at^intion to myal interest. I 

liked and respected her common sense and sobriety , her pleasant 

manners, her ba(?anced ways: it was through her that Lotte 

had been invited to her parents' house after her surgery,and the 

A' ,.i ^ • . , 

three of us (läter including her younger sister Vera) and took 
many simulating walks along the Elfenau bank oYth^ river Aar^. 

both accomplishjmusician, Hertha on he piano, Vera 


on ^^ c 

cello^Vera also had a gift for design and was long unsure 
whether it could become her main profssional interest.'/^TONe o;^-:tiiB 
««in ättractions at^rot the Kleinerts ' daughters were their parents 

to whom we were intr-oduced from the beginning. Heinrich was a high; 


school phy&ics.eacher, and |5[ad writtex- a textbook on the subject.H 

Heinrich was an idal Swiss man and Citizen to me. *1 learned 
jffrom friends) that 

he had 



m one fester home to another 


•lost his parent early and 

^ii roots were rural ^^ vjl^hen I 

IS military duties^-wto^n^he 

met h^m in 1943he had just 
^ Citizens' army Was 

xs[xs±gH - vaalg ji after the Fall of France &\ the chief Commander 

mobilized in 19 40 xkiSHX to deter a Nazi 


of the army , General Henri Guisan/had takfn it upon himself to 
meet with French K^HXXHiEHix top militar'y Commander to plan 
Joint measures against a possible Nazi incursions (the records 

►of their 

V>\ M^^A- i\^( 



in the Jura Mountains became embarassing 

to General Guisan when German troops or intelligence units 
discovered them among captured French staff documents after 19 4 



I forgot whether Heinrich Kleinerts served as an of f icer in 

mountain -^ 

the "Reduit" - the Swiss fortif icatipns- during the war. When 


I met him in 1944 o4 1945 he 

=5^fflin"i nj- r nfrjT^ (Dii^^s^t^J 







%t a teachers 'collpge for women in Bern, and worked c as 

Ayyc \y^'\[d\C\}^*' .jene ' 

managing editor of a Ia^e^*^^^'-L_^ . .. ecyclopedia on Education. 

His wife Jeanette,, a French-speaking Swiss woman from Neucha^el 
XhH KlKiHKXfcsxKkHxhadl^rrt»^ oTf Lotte ' s surgery :^"" fbm HsxJ^kH 

__ ^^^:^J^C^ ; V I 

her daughter amd invited SstiK her to spend some week or weeks in 
thei/house and i^ garden yclose to the pu blic park Elfen au 
along the Aara river: the]}/had designed their own ranch-styJ^e 
house adjoining ism the Beifn ^"SUütj^tree- and .plant nur sery^r 

country house built Hg by a Russian noblewoman as a 
Romantcbc retreat in the early 19 th centu 

to--^qTy-jQ3m^p&^ > Heinrich and Jeanette ^ and daugter Hertha, 
theolder (§!^^^closer to my age^Lötte and J f.Q£ a ghnnj^ j-i-mp^fa^gi^ 

«/ V' 


ihEx became part of this beloved Swiss family while I worked on 
my dissertation andLotte found a place fin the medical labora 
toryof a Bern hospital. I was also invited to their summer home^ 


Sils Maria'Tlirn the Fextal)' in the Engadin and 
taken along on a three day mouTTtain hike by Her tha and her 
father. In 1946, a few months before we left Switzerland for 
New York,, my mother was able to visit Bern and meet my new friend; 

before she,to 

^ VUc ß.vt^ 


ind 1;:o emigrate to New 



7 /)\ (^^^11^ ^-^^^^^^^ exEKx would 6KEW1 attempt to persuade the Federal Justic 

and Police department to grant me^residence permit in Bern 

1 W^^lJ If/K II 

— a year or two lateiiSWiss policy on residence for forWie^m1^s^'' 

changed, the^ ft^^aniQ^ reminders that I had^^ixo^^^^ to leav^ 


the country after complfeting my studies ceaseqL.,, it seeraed 
unrealistic and demeaning to beg for "being tolerated" , on an 
"allen visa"there were no Jobs at the unlverslty, even my belover» 
Klemert family, my link wlth rabbl Ms esslnger ,myFove for 1.- 


^\*<aJ. V) 




A \ 



, '- -^ If 


^ scape and(cuiture,'^.Ä|r'respect for^k^Sx^ hardw work and 

w*& notjweigh, enough against my insight 
that I would always be a foreign guest,xHxsirHHgHrx even if my] 
sense of being "allen" would turn into the participatory role 

of the stranger (in Georg Simmel's sense^ • not because 

" u, b f ' ^ ^ * -^ "^ 

faith but beecause oftthe Outsider ii^MHHtxin closely 
knit social Systems like the Swiss. 

of my 

f >tWJv/f^MX 

t ^ 





^^nfifleä ^a Ü J» 

SlfJl^S tJcl 

^ VcUOl^ JrM^difl- 


C ÖVM^^ \l I (^T ^ ' V V^ M / 





On December 1, 1943, J arrived in Bern to enroll in the liberal arts division of the 

University, still named Philsophische Fakulaet Eins to set it apart from the natural science division 
Fakulaet Zwei . The early winter sky was overcast, and I feit the humid cold penetrating my light 
Summer clothing; I had been interned in a Swiss civilian labor camp in the sunny Rhone valley for 
four months, and had come to like its warm climate, the sun warming the cold downdrafts from the 
snowfields and glaciers upstream. The refugee agency had put me up for the time being in a 
middle class hotel, the Blue Gross, a temperance center dating from the 19^^ Century temperance 
movement, the fight against excessive älcohol consumption, however cold the weather. After a few 
days I found a sparsely furnished and sparsely heated room in the middle class quarter 
Kirchenfeld, dose to the Federal archives, and did not notice - refused to take note - of the winter 
and the landlad/s concern with.unheated 

room. The room was affordable even for the 

minimal stipend I had been granted by a European Student aid society from funds provided by that 
effective friend of all Jewish victims of persecution, the American Jewish Joint Distribution 
Committee. The room was, of course, too icy to receive guests or women friends, even at night, 
under the blankets. Lotte amved in Bern a few weeks later to work as maid and nanny for an 
(apparently patrician) French-speaking official of the Swiss foreign Office, the Politsches 
Department. Her atöc room was heated. By then, I spent my days at the library or the university^rer^ 

When I fied Ws^^-ferseet^ after a tense seven month hiding with good 
samaritans in war-time Berlin 1 had little concrete knowledge of Switzerland or its people. A brother 
of my father's, uncle Isidor, had married a Swiss woman via the traditional marriage broker, the 
shadchen . They had lived in Mannheim, Germany, -a&d the Nazis had deported all Jews living in 






the State of Baden - where Mannheim was situated - after the fall of France in lata 1940. They 

were not affluent enough to help us even if we had known what had happened to them. (The Swiss 
wife was repatriated to Switzerland from a French concentration camp, Gurs, In the Pyrenees, ^ 

y uncle had been left behind and had not survived the rigors of the 
O camp,)^'n Berlin, my whole energy had been concentrated on surviving, on slipping into a new 
identity, impersonating^ Beamte of the Genrianlrmament industry run by Albert Speer, Hitler's 
pet production wizard. Getting to safety across the frontier, surviving police controls, avoiding the 
Police and military guards sealing the German frontier - when it dawned on me in the middle of that 
June night that the frontier guard who had stopped me (and my friend. Lutz Ehrlich whose life we 
saved that night) had to be Swiss because his helmet was flat, not deep and potty like the German 
Steel helmet - This is Switzerland? We fied from the Nazis in danger of life, if you want to send us 
back, better shoot us on the spot!" A strong, hot emotion swept over me as the extraordinary 


pressures of my seven Underground months of mimicry and play-acting seemed to 

Ci aae- 

. I 

embraced the obviously young recruit who blushed and took us to his post. We feil into the routine 

devised for unidentified aliens seeking asylum: The canton of Schaffhausen on whose temtorv we 

had made our dash for freedom provided the uniformed force for the federal "allen police" and put 

US behind bars of the main cantonal prison of Schaffhausen for a week of interrogation. Already, on 

my second day in prison, the police officer interrogating me had^me sign an application for a 

"refugee (internal) passporf', the Swiss Fluechtlinosausweis . I understood it as a Signal that I would 

not be sent back. Given the circumstances as yet unknown to me^id they want to reassure me? 

After a week in prison we were taken by a uniformed policeman to a quarantine camp located in a 

former factory building in the Jura mountains and run by a reserve unit of middle aged men (and a 

few women). We became civilian internees. The Swiss army had been temporarily assigned police 

duties when the number of refugees grew too large for the small police forces of the municipalities 


and the states (cantons). The quarantine formed a second tier of the vetting process both 

physically and politically. 

Since 1940, refugees had been housed in homes or labor camps where they were 
assigned work in agriculture or civil engineering (like road building), reclamation projects, or 
forestry. In 1 943/44, about half of the able-bodied refugees interned as civilian internees in 
Switzerland during the later part of the war (about 10,000 persons) passed through the camp 
System )^thei?n)7ärto1naividual internment, residence with relatives, employment in private 
industry, or continued studies at a school or university. AsöfeÄ^ljÄer remained interned in 
camps until they were able to leave the country at the end of the war. 

Since most refugees from Western European countries had lived in eitles or 

metropolises like Paris, Brüssels or Amsterdam, and had been shaped by decades of urban living, 

urban craft and commercial occupations, they suffered some "culture sfiock" as they passed from 

the deceptive comforts of their bourgeois homes älmost abruptly into the semi-military controls of V ^""^ 


camps, The police that had arrested them had frequenöy placed them into prisons. Military law- 
and-order clashed with the liberal expectancy linked with Swiss democracy all through the 19* 


I recognized that the "^ederal allen police" had been institutionalized at a moment 
in European history when it had become fashionable to find a national identity in the "purity of rural 
life", the mountain peasant and the shepherd boy plus Heidi defining the national innocence 
against the decadence of modern life and "the city". The Fremdenpolizei understood itself 
consistently as the guardian of a folkloristä^^ly defined ideal - das Schweizer Wesen offen 
indistinguishable from French and German blood-and-soil speculations, all this at a moment in 
European demography when expanding Industries demanded open frontiers to attract foreign laboi/ 
ap* capitaL and intelfüCiiM mrtövations. Social and economic realities clashed with the nostalgic 

Images spread by hotel Industries and the tourist industry at home and abroad. By its cultural 



(?^ C^Yi 

origins in the romantic nationalism of the end of the 19^^ Century jthe FremdenpoWzei - or at least l^a,Ltx h^ Lh\ 

I \ V 

the documents in the Swiss archives produced by some of its leading officials - had embraced a 

\ [ ^J2 aX i^*^i^ 

patriotic mission that placed it to the right of th^ i 

•US Amisreadinq of Swiss immiqration 

spectrum of Swiss political life; ever i ^^ |i.|^?e/>/ 1 

smce a 


immigration statistics submitted in a report by the 

Politsches Department (Foreign Office) to the Bundesrat in 1924 had falsely projected an increase 
of foreign nationals on Swiss soll to 50% of the population by 1990 (a classical and elementary 
error in fKJiiin .;<i|y ji \^^p^ Hpmngraphir fBptü i iuMt) (Ludw. 57 f). Romantic nationalism had degun 
to appear in documents originating with the police department and in protocols ^federal-cantonal 
Statements on aliens. The federal police moved to control rhe practice of municipalities and 
q^ntons to award cantonal residence (and Swiss citizenship) to foreign petitioners whose tax 

citizenship was "einkaufen", buy into citizenship). 

assessments promised to increase local revenues (pre 1941 the term for acquiring Swiss 

"f. f /iHAJ-df iL*^^ XJAk'- • -^^ » =" y^ 

national "^mMmpf ^^m as yet free 

of Nazi-style racism of a biological kind 

— to the Ministers' k/ 


bufeatjefa tio ond parliome ntarrtl 

Cotfftcü (Bundesrat) #Mar^H 9^4^ "43etreffeTTtf 

lleberfrendari|r. Since the 

federal government was restricted in its actions by international treaties with countries where^J»e 
Swiss had migrated to in some numbers before 1914, the Politisches Department (Foreign Office) 
recommended speeding up naturalization procedures and fon^tg g aliens to acquire Swiss 
citizenship (Ludw. 57). I believe that some of this pre-1914 cantonal and municipal interest in the 
alien's tax franken survived even the harsher climate of federal bureauaatization that arrived in the 
wake of the First World War, the unemployment in the country between wars, and the rise of 
fascist-style groups in Switzerland after 1933. ^ 

^ Amusingly enough, I met with remnants of this pre-war period during vacations in a mountain village long 
after the end of World War II: we feil in love with the unique landscape of the Aletsch glacier, and retumed 
year after year to im one mountain village. Our landlord became good friends with us over several 
summers^as his tenants «boften celebrated our good friendship in his house down in the Rhone Valley, or 
in Ihe chalet 2,000'flpl^p with the traditional o n gga ibt m o^r melted local cheese (Raclette) and white 

r^Y^ (\ 

t )>a 

All of this of course was far into our post-war Swiss future, but It illustrates the 
conflJcts between the idejilogical currents that were shaping Swiss attitudes during those years, 
and the hostility that was implied in the Police understandlng o their mission. I studied the historic 
circumstances only after a report to Swiss parliament, the Nationalrat, ha üVij e w^e l ii n e \riäk £=^ ,1111 fy^ 


otoro dur i ng"^ vacat i on v i ait 4 

Switzedand ted-beco 

eripheral to my research interests after I had settied in the USA and began to teacji 
■aditional survey courses on European historyQln 1958, 1 had 

lect source mater 

ealing with social Service agencies that had aided refu§e^sin Switzerland during World War II, 


b Jt soon recognized that the Swissrefegee story would not lead me to what I soon saw as fhe 

storic Center of^jwertd^storic event, the destruction of the German-Jewish Community and thjir 



One peculiar feature of the archival aspects of this project stayed with me, though, 
long after I had turned away from research on the topic. There would be two occasions at which 
Swiss archival resources on Swiss policies towards fugitives from Nazi Germany and occupied 
Europe drew international scholarly attention, either occasion created not by a systematic Swiss 
drive to set the record straight, but by references in documents published by fte Aliie^ 1 945^ 
and, in the 1990s, when the probity of Swiss dealings with deposits in Swiss banks by Holocaust 
victims became an international issue touching Swiss honorilf persuaded the Bern archival 







wine. After a few summers, the landlady and her daughter, a hard working family just emerging from the 
endemic poverty of our mountain region, even accepted an invitation for a week or two in New York. A 
Summer or two later, we were presented with an official invitation to become Citizens of the hamlet whose i>u 
master he had been for some years - "it would cost you only a dinner and a round with our voiunteer fire 
department..." It would have hurt his feelings if we had pointed out to him how hard it would have been for 
them two decades earlier to recognize the future New York professor, his American summer guest, and his 
family in the penniless and hard working young aö^te- interned in that camp near the river... But as so 
frequently during those unique years in Switzerland, we met in respect and sympathy for each other, 
because we recognized that we faced our so very differenl challenges jvitf^ similar responses and 
resources, the electrician tending his flock of sheef^iaunng the sunnmer,l5r goatsl)n an alp hightTf1"tHe*'' 
mountains while taking care of the chalet he had büift on a tourist spot on the Alp near the cable car, and 
holding a full-time Job with the electric Company that had bullt its generators into the recently regulated 
Upper Rhone river passing through his village. 


r / 

ri»viac)o V 

authorities to open their archives to "committees of international experts" investigating Swiss 
policies towards refugees that the federal government had established. Swiss reluctance in making 
the documentary records available to scholars within and outside Switzerland, was - and is - of 
course not confined to these cases: in 1946, Professor Werner Naef, my Doktorvater at Bern 
University and a true believer in Rankean document-based scholarship "above politics and 
n ^ "' \ interests" serving only "the" truth had been asked by the Council of Ministers (Bundesrat Etter) to 

""yconsider the effect>%^»hoM3*^pubiication of Swiss foreign policy docu^entslQri>ibRS'öpmiö^ 

^A^.,>(>o!'|G^ t!_i ^^^ -" 

u ; > unless the documents were accompanied by an explanatory interpretation that would add historic 
'L/o vv^aT/ perspectivs. The Council followed his advice not to open Swiss war-time archives, and 

cK ^ 




commissioned Edgar Bonjour, a Basle history professor to produce a comprehensive source-based 
"History of Swiss Neutrality". (19-19 ) When I requested access to my own "refugee file" in the 
late 1990s, I was §1«» a slim voiunfie of my correspondence with the Alien Police, beginning with 


ed.- w 

the "protocol d'an-estation" filled out by the frontier policeman who had first stopped me that night, 
and sinfiilar "official" material. The file did not include a copy of the deposition I had given in 

Schaffhausen and which I had been asked to sign for the interrogator, 


itsch-Maeder. I 


suggested to the archivist in Bern that it may have been deposited in a war-time intelligence file 
under my name or the name of Ludwig Schoeneberg of whom I knew that he had been working 

with a Swiss Tntelligence 

r. Keller"): Ris'private correspondence of the war-years which 
was tumed over to me after his death by his widow, Lotte's aunt in Laussanne, in the 1980s, 
included a copy of a report on his (and a German courier's) attempt to identify shipments of gold 
barreis brought through#ie diplomatic<OHl from Germany to Switzerland. As I had expected, my 
request to see those files was turned aside, this department was being "reorganized and the files 




notaccessible atthe momenf . (ca.1994) 

4 ^'11 


Since the end of the war, the taboos of Swiss war-time policies even in military 


matters have been replaced by a riäwr openness, and the country and its leaders have not all been 
the worse for it^ven if some reputations have been dented and some taboos destroyed. 

This, of course, is very much a result of generational changes and the changed 
Information Situation that came first with the defeat of the totalitarians and the end of the cold war. 

And, not all of it was voluntary on the part of the relatively 

political elite or elites: 

German, French or American and English pubiications would reveal Swiss involvements in 
relationships unknown or hidden from the Swiss publidand embarrassing to the then policy elites in 
retrospect. Most of the news broke after I had left the country and my attention had shifted to the 
Atlantic perspectives inspired by New York. )^ 

t. >v 



'hu- * 


History at Bern Univeriity , 1943 - 1946/ 

^ overcast and frosty dxay, I 

On december 1, 19 43A 

checked myself out of the labor camp I had 

been interned in since late July, and took a train to the 

federal capital of Bern, The foggy d/zzle that feil steadilyxih: 

the train 

since hadcrossed the Bernese Alps,i:: a breathtakingly beautiful 


and exhiliratjag trip from the warmer Rhone valley . I was drunk 

with the f freedom I feit pysically rise up in my body 

ly,| singi 



all the wayy^' in my empty tr ain compartment , as I switched from one side 

to the other to get the better view of the mountainsidesj [l) 
<^CB the. tracks wound up to the tunnel and then, down to 
Lake Thun barely visible in thefog and the mist of an ear ly 
Winter day.I would travel quite a few times in the 4pi»i*eä: 
area that beame "my" Switzerland, Bern Rhoex valley, Engadin, 
LAKE Genevdfliederaldmore by train >:äteyp'-^or many years) by car 
suffused fbr many years by that euphoria of beingvfree, 
moving away and moving towards, as yet the last moments and \x&\ 
hours that the horrors I had escaped and we'learn^d about the 
fate of relatives and friends in Germany did not intrüude ino 
our conscience. 

On December 9, a week and>^ half after..! had left the 

laborc amp,' had^become a fully^matriculatepr Student a. jkr a 






Swiss unive^^ity. a turn ip^my fortune J^did have di'f f icüittüd 
culties tö take for gr^rited: IxhHdxJsEHHThe family had bot enoui 
l^ojpey yl5o enrol me ijtk foreign highschoo|. 



z^X b 


while I was at ^oe, the pogroms of November 1938, the 

Kristpl nacht= j^ad destroyed xilchnces to obtain an Immigration 

oermit as a sTudent to Jerusalem' s teachers ' College, the outbre. 

l i 
eak of the war , ifikde aj^ iKuai^xHÜHn permit tomigrate to 

alid ( " enemy aliense wwere axluded 


that the London Home Office hat decreed your aedission before tl 
the war. Deep down, I had lo-st hope even if I put a brave 
face on the illluck that seemed to d<5öge my attempts to climb oi 
^ "7 the immobility ouj^I^S^^^s^ had decreed for me. N /Ä, that I 

found mself at the bottom, , ^n^Jiiding, a fugitive from the Secre- 


Police that had deported ^jfel^tiveö, friends teachers, my trusted 

Dm, , in hiding, 
i/felktives, fri 


Jewish woDld to an unknown fate in Eastern Europe ,an outlaw 
without a roof over his head and a bed to sleep in,surviving 
on the mercy of friends and good samaritans » 


History major at Bern University 1943 - 1946. 


/^y^-^ u c k hcl g U : I had chosen to apply to the ÖJniversity of Bern 
not becsuae I had known , 
wffithbtebQUBHKÄHhHÄHkHHKH anyttj ing abput its academic Standing 

or the fit of its program of courses for my needs Wl had f«allen in 

in love with the city of Bern d its natural beauty earlier, when 

/an -^ / 

I I h«!d a free hour ^e^F^^WD between the local connection 

to camp Buesserach and the throughtrain to 

^^^ttjg^ aRd:''-i=!rhiP^ r g .c^ . . Bern would bf fer the belance between 

a/i Western capital, and the peace I kÄÖxkHpKöxfcKxfxHäx connected witl 
my childhood and adolescnece in the 





mj^äi^'- 1 o wTT"^ 


a difflpult social c}.imate, and that Bern culture did not encourage 

contacts with strangers : For the first twX^tiliasxI would not have 

A/ Qv^^^^^y bred 

been refdy for contacts with Swiss studenta^ ;:A.. habit of months an( 

and years of watchful khxhsxx towards new contacts and unknown 


n others. 

had left me surrounded by a veil of caution towards unknow: 



^ t 







r . , /' 


As the crisp and clear September days turned into 
q beautiful Valais autumn, what had been a hope and a drea 
b->5'ani rr.ll H' only a few weeks and months earlier turned 
into certainty : I would be admitted to the Universcjty of 
Bern 's graduate school of liberal arts - the Philoso- 
phische/ Fakultaet Eins, Facul/ty of Phi losophy One (Two was 
made up by the natural sciendces ) . Qu.j_ ui^lLu alid itf^ ^^/JT^ ^ 
satisfied the requirements for full-time studies - I hTve 


■earlier g) ^ad |>y November 4 , 'whö'n the te 



me . 

er month 


shoals. Her' 

began,! received notice that ^he^'^Faculty' had accepted 

KÄ»siiRax»XÄÄ5x«ixS*«Ä»«iÄikxÄkXxikiJ{Xx It took anoth 

to secure a grant from a European Student aid "Eedec^ation" , 

whose funds for Jewish students der^ived largely from 

that most effective jjf Aerican Jewish aid agencieds, the 

Aerican Jelsh j/oint Distributioon Committee. It helped that 

vwv/ social Service 
one of fc*re/unsungTheroines of4.u ■ ^ . T i 

KM«vs±Mxif».»v ^^^ period, Mme. h»^^-! I^Silber^^/.. 

ggg^ XHjUgax ^steered my application thro^^the or^anizational 




>=Jrlt^«>husband had been a deputy/in the Polish 

non-governental Jewish 

Q bjem an(3 ^ repr$esent- 

^ ^ 



f r\ 

orgnaizatins w#*rh the League if Nations in Geneva ^wi«^e f\}'\^ 
(i Silberschein directed the Genevaibf f i- ce of an inter- 
natiÄ^f^ aid sofciety ffr"intellectual refugees". Objectively, 
the money needed to finance university studies at ikaKK P 

fj.nanced universities was minimal , conist|ing only df^rlfs , 



\ \ 

•, i y 


since ^'-higher educatioJ^f ^Ss^f fEInBiS^gJ^tßr stat es (cantons) oJ 

the Federal government ,^ l^e Universio-ty^wated its 



small fees (Kolle^ebuehren) forlindigent studenst like interned 

refugeees Aj-^^h ^ - cmal 1 -~L&& 
eä£li_st^id e n t 

thp Stud ents Federation assessed 

o> -^^ 

1 'l V" O'/k X, U (:. 



'c ^h;i 



\\ OV, l' I !>-/ 




h-/ci^$ a^\ 

On the lastvday of November, 1943 , I received word that the 


. I' 

European studenst Federation in Geneva had granted me a small 

enroll in the University of 
■^iPf§5l(sfr 75.00)per month for six months) to x^mMx xh Bern 

erjn.ri had reached the free SWitzerland I had se©« — iMxiHik 

through prison walls and camp r|nces,/on leave^from 

foi\ a 4:c_ ^.^ .. 

camp on rare.weekends. A dozen good friends I 

with ^ |icU\i/Y A>^^ >^ \rn^ »1 :^ \ 

-- ^-oi ^ Qure 



^ '^'-'X ^Vjyi />/..,( p yl 

m of be^ng ' " ^ '?f 

Uid. A watercolor dr:OT\7n by a comrade. 

-or dr 

H^iY i 


a German political XK^Mg^K exile who hadrefuge in Paris 


^ / 



professional political caricaturist, my farewell p^esent, sums 

up the scene and our feelings: a decently undressed muse flies 

A \-Ji^ iü^ tlie_cainp below __,^. — =~ 

XHXtkw!§HX5«i/er the heads of my^öitirades in workcloth^^ieldi5^ 

picks and shov-lli^jvav^Bg heavenwards at a beatifially grining 



gentlemen in suit and tie^while big tears run down their 

happy faces ^^ .Sixty years later it is fetill with m^jin my* 

Cagain^ - ^^ I 


#/r///r.»- ^ 


when we both served 

in a refugee "representation" to which we hadeen elected in 19 45. 


J ^' 

^1 f^U l\ -y-c li^: 

It was obvious to me that YMCA- or settlement house 

Style cultural KXKHisx "offerings" /jf^ngebote) did not have 

the effect of tranquillizing us into 


\^R<<^' MÖW- 


at the end of 1943, after I had left camp, nasty con- 
frontations between our fellow cjnternees and native HHkxxH^x 
Swiss .roughians developed into Astreet brawls, Bome of 
whose victims required hospitajization in Sierra and 
elsewhere. The (semi-governmental) directors of the 
labor camps in Zuerich and their superior s inthi3Federal Police 
Department began to understand the desperation /) they had creati 
by theii|policies,and SKixMgx sought mechanisms to iHsiKäs give| 
refugeee a voice in planning their future^^ as defined by 
the Police Department-- .return to their countries of origin 
or resettlement in a final Immigration country in Europe or 
oversea's. Germany ' s defeat w^a* in sight, foreign trade and fo| 
foreign policy had to re-orient themsefeäves away from ijfesx 

their involvementxH in the Axis Systems towards a Western- 
^\ti xMKxlast months in camp Sierre was 


dffiminated world. / 1 ^vi-e "te /i ^ ^- ^'^( /'/p^f^iXi^J^^/^^^. '/^/.M^ /<t^:| 


by my ankieties KHMSsdxbyxthKXıäKx about financing mys 
icx uniyersity study and missing the beginning of the term^ 

I had little "time" to share the collective ii 
of my fellow internees. The propect ofleaving camp 
behind had made me feel rriipnrnf n /^privijeged" ,able to dis- 

couni' the daily nuisances as temporary, to to^rate the collectil 
ve life everybody hated . (fTotte äi»ö our rare weekends together 
our lettersy^ur deepening awareness of each other, our 
experiencing landscape and cujture , the plans we shared i 




the sorrows wHxfHÜx and concerns WKxshaxKÖxiH silent 

moments of mourning x x forced separationrbridged by 

/ I U ' 

the warmth and the closeness of our 14«^^=^^^^^^-. That our 

new seri ousness begann in Switzerland in iske lovely environment sf 

^our new-fpund freedonf f? 

^f ']; Vyt^ (V^ 

our loves 

xxxxx . 


would anchor ikHXHSsBKXHi^iHHsx 

f irmly aaMijHxx enomgh to aiixHKixMsxiHxx make us returiyl f or 
numerous summer xH^or winter vacations many year^ 

phy^lTcal;" and" --emotion aJ^ i s 

tinement^of these early moVhs followinc 
--"' I understood 






pur arriving in SWitzerland üfexsiBiaäxthat tfe^.war years in Berlin 

•p&rrying prsecutipn had taught me to insulate my "^o^ional li^e froi 

i y in Berlin \^ 

the outside world HKdxiisxKXKxix . Living Underground, act'ing ou 

I y^ nine 

ah assumed identity, for almos t xsBgxmo n 

L - — 

Yet there remained a shwdTsr-; over our own lives in Switze: 
land and over our feelings and attitudes towards Swiss policies 
and the institutions resposible for them in World War II. 
In our own lives, the three years we sfeent in BernK^i feit like 
a hiH:fcKSx long vacation wedged in between the burdens of being 
4 ^\> persecuted almost Cte death and thehhardships of xiHxÜHgxixBJKi the 
\ ' proverbial bottom a penniless imigrant family was expeted to 



fHKKx Start from on his way to si^eees^^ ouyv>t:wo 

<J WviV r 

/ « 

\ V 







\ * 


( \ 4 ■ 






IfWx'^ f 

3\V^yv^ t^ v^^ ^'^^^ 


DecQtEerTT 1943, d^ed bj-ue and sunny in the Valais , southem 



would feel itiost comfortable in, for the refet of my life. She train 't© Bern aT^V'^' "^^t 
in Brieg was rather enpty,! found a conpartinent all by myself. Sftxx / ^ 
Glu^k^ As t±ie 4^ect:-ic train irioved &^^^Cthen ™^roDi±i /^ lefttHe"" 

^ Jt nd been home )|:ooir^^ for four months/^ ) c 1' I began to 

hum to myself, than to sin^, füll throttle, 
adventurrously into tb 

,as 4=^ 

tracks wound't^' -^^^^c'-^ 
to the tiannel, the Loetschberg. 
You emerged from its darkness into the last . st^on on the northem acent, Kander 
Steg, «aaä feit awed by the snowy peak of the Bluemlisalp. i prcmised myself I would 
retum to eüjab up to the lake at its foot - and I did many times before andj 
after I had left the country for my new hone. New York. Was it the height 
the train had reached as it püöc moved fron one side of the v\ley to the other ? 

f4?^t I feit free " at last",? ihat I had "obsiegt" (, ' ^ "^^(PJft' 
That the promise of a future was overv^eLning me , tenperament 

^ st^joaiesSaS^ for the itDinent % the imkno\idnfr ö^ '^ 
m^cjesty of those silen^ peaks you could diacemxx in the distance 
1/ This was Tiot 



-iliB vai'l'iey ? 

the iroment/to lose 

hope/the atark realities of our history. ' ]^ wer|:still in the balance, we 
iidght ^ each other again,'^1f±ie ultimate and unspeakable horrors ^i^ftat'that 
veiwiioinent wthin travell ;ing distance of v^ere I was noving now were 

still unim^-aginable, unbelievable, nightmarish, the pall thei^uld cast on our live; 

unbSlievablß . ., . ^ , . 

HKTSax in the midst of this priraal beauty xxSsaiXxHXiaNäxjcc. 

In Thun, the corapartment filled up and I feil silent, the euphoria tumJ 
inward. Our farewell party^confintied the way I wanted to fe^een and see myself 

Objectively, I ruminated, the camp was a pretty awful experience - enough 
collectivism for a while !- conditions distastiifii!il,noise and dirt,. 

1/ ' 



y^ soinebody eise's watcii , , obrui ve cdiatterboxes , uneduacted boors: one 


"^^^ human reality 

' " . _. .<^ 

^the unkind view, the night view. I ti^ had inade 

good and sensi tive friends in Sierre, acrss oior differences. Ihey taught me 

to be " 1^^ serious ":I loved the Eastem-Jewish humor and the itdxture 

^ ^ ^ ^ . . \>, a-i«(U(c^f 0/^ + 'v'jp *(> ? ^ *• 

of contenpt and irony ; irsidefeseef against the klotz on the block, ^' 

fhe enertiy , the, POle^ the police, the SS, the Gerroans, the,Ä^zis, even the 

Lagt:erleiter (they hated^ for lack of ajpther sui table autiprity f<igure) . 
feit the indomi table spite below the self-deprecatien.This had been my 

l\ o 

O^ V«-« 

(\ \^ 

(.Wax rt 



f irst Ancounter with Polish- Jewish culasg^in operatient" and I loved^^^ Ifihat 
one could leani^ for defending oneself,! love ■ the warmth- the frienäh ip, 
the ooinplej^ itox of_ f riendship and hnsH-Hnty HHäx, the grudging recognition 
&Ä.<a-Bers3a^4*i0''aid not have to feel bad to feergooa, as they did, the.r*«K?./' 
^ ' - '^ , - A ^ cultuf e that had to build wäRtöfulness into /its attitudes 

I ViVif X ^^s ... . cultu re ^^ wii/ ' 



cu- 4-^- nM - 

V \)C ^ the; r— -^ • " ^ 


/i. ' 


If these experiences were 
the; proVDcations ... /gig a "German Je 



^ o_ 

_I^oundiB<inie extraodinaa^ 

ing and valuable relationship developed with a 





Öf )V'H^ 


general dj jtiissed by the Nazis from his offict and prevented by the outb rea< 

Oötbreak if the war to jpin his wife and children in England) nv^ '^l Wd K?» 
his attempt to seek ref„a. • ^ . ^ / like me. f rustrated im 

anpt seek refuge .n England when the war broke out and the British 

closed their fi^tiers to all "enemev ^H^no" 

enemey aliens ,persecutees or not, inSäptanber 1939 
He may have been one of the few among -^t^--«-^^- •■'- ^ * ^ ' 

iny Jewii 



politically and religiously libera|niddle-class fandly i 

w^ had been shaped by ^ A 
ani. -'^ ^ 

m XhH urban environinent üke 
^... ... ..g,aties Of ^ ort hodOx ^«fa^^^o^^ background) ^^ refined by 

generatiens^of Cem..-.ewish Bildur^. We began - a f^.ship when 
—-^ clashed coram publice over canp conditions 


\\^l di ^UHMdlU-yfy 

and his lame defence of the Lagerleiter ^ sj crass \j 3 diQ v io3?a:xHK^xHf . It seemed 
unbelievable to nie that any Jew however liberal cxDuld express fr' iendly feeling 
for "the Germans" and speak of "reconciliation" while the trains still sped 
eastovHfid and our culture was being destrpyed yand yet, it seemed scx)thing to hear 
a voice of reason and gentle patience even if I could not control "Öi^ ^^WF 
anger ijoHaffiHxkteääx -aöfl MBg6gM»^Mfej;MM £g^| hatred for cruninals beyond all 

V f ♦ 

measure.The problem was that Emsheimer was alLovely human being and a pillar of 
quiet strength in the chaos I was living through, a rare gentle man in a time of 
violence. He was almost 20 years older than me: our friendship declined on!^/v\^en 
he sided with the anti-Zionist^ socialist group of. poliitcal refugee- vdiose 






tepid humanism barred them from recognizing the cold btutality of ^emarderous 
enemieswfefesfexscKX: in German uniforms JHifis^^f^p^d^. We clashed pblically vdien we 


represepted opositie views in ^at the Swiss Alien Police Departmens-Apleased to 

call a "Representative assembly of elected spokesmen from among the refugees." 

When we met again in New York decades after the end of the war, the f acts of intemai 

national migration had moöted our dif ferences and mellowed us with the knowledge (^sfeß 

that we 
ÜBfflgsxHfxBMXxxüxKS had little time left to recreate the sympathies that had 

Arthur ^ 
brought U-S together in that etemal landpcape in the Rhone valley ^BjasReiitier 

diedin his 78th year in Switzerland 

lanascape m tne Knone \ 
ropreto e r ^fejjag the^ polita 

political and fiancial Claims 



^Jewish survivors against the German Federal I^i±)lic. I remember him as a true 
f riend \fljhöse GhBndianjipdesty was too -siÄcafe' for theJiy^Old we had beer r^ or^ 

) Töer^thi 

h i ) . ^ r u 1 W^ into ^ a Jew vdio ^WBÖrliothing rauch aboüt Judaism . * ^ ^ ^ j_ 

X^[^< I // ._,and pro^ected .what appeared 

f ormative trait iÖT virtue 

as dogmoamt k^^ödsr/iiÄ ythe ideal Christian /xBJHgKiWof humility, 


of place in hhxxx th^ world we had just escap3d. 

^t ^S^)^l 






^(A 1^^ 









Alf^ c^A'^'^"^ 

^:^lh^' ^l^e^ J^'^^ 

) ! 

<' f? 

I arrived in Bern on December 1,19 43:1 stamp in "j ^y ^üia 
\ t^sKit^^ Sierre camp administration ^ me on Suess' wish. 


oO- •■ 





recognition of ^usecpfulness to him, a pw weeks later local* 
ruffians in Sierre Änd camp inmates clash violently, , , 
Leisure time as soporific failed. 
My mental or pscyol. condition is.hard to recon- 

ition j^s^^ia ifS. layered, fnot consistent Kp/..^^^'^^ 

euph1rorIa]feaf€eFleaving camp for freedom at University^ 






a mood of energy . 

^_ ,S(^lient thoughts on surival ' 


^^ 1^^ • - posi.-tive^like higher bloodpressure episodes. 
^ ^y* .^ depressed: self^'Sense of 3:a^d»^oT'7ai:gnity in Underground 

hß y^ memory in Germany: humiliated by pretended identity; 

% y^ . ' .eqo concept sees Nazis as scoundrel and trash yet I am on the 

^X.ivi A'^, , V 

I QU S;,s..^\ "Tc-M 

^ QA^ 

^ Mourning and deep sadness over losses in family, friends, 

ochschule culture and 

E=fe3^;, As yet denial , halfdenial of 

ry: Waisenhaus (Pankow?) episode f/ sermon to 
i-fimcrt^gs- and ^ staff *cursep Nazis -powerless goodbyy} to ^»m 
as they are deported in a few days; thaimmense /'fage'that comes 
out in this sermon"^ admissio0n of powerlessness. 
Family: f ather ' s story, encounter with Wue,Gestapo./ Goodby in / 

notes from Warsaw'Absurdityj^öf 




ir werden bald in Mar^sch gesetzt: military expression. . 

Berlin friends deported /Anneliese Levy/ Ruth casinski,} 
Allya of friend in bäte chaluzim ( Rosejaber^/ pianist> Oranien- 
burgerstrasseA Eppstein loss. Baeck gas@d sl^ but not emotionaill 
Involved as with Paul Eppstein. family and group. 

I I 

-- fi^ss^ <!A Gepeilbdeculture and society. 

*^»t^ .^i 




Street cleaning humiliation ys.many 

ntrman li 



endure. physicalstress and exertion, early rise. 

streeet ride 

with Jew Star <^(^r (?'(j 1^ j^^ 

m^ Spite reäfction and stif fuppetlip facade, also with fellow- 

sufferers^ Underground from Sept 240^:^:^;^-*-. (^manSTsttplayjkcting 

> ^"^ ,k.\\\.- prwtwnsing positive mood. Assumed ro 
y V comforting, encouVHging, Mut zur 

le fot feil 

owsu^f * erers 

/;^ c^^ i'^'^l, 

q^his general Underground w smile* Bajazzo Syndrome/ youth/towerof 
strength Syndrome^ de^pir abt .powerlessness interrupted by 
episodes o:^escape ^like SKkiHwfcsxx leibnizstr . 48 Gestapo escape; 
!;tress i^ masquejifäcade. -)• itw^CA b n , ^-^^ ^ 1 V'^'' \ 


Positiv: Lotte unerring courage ad pi-i.ti.4.ience; togetherness ; 
help bycaring and food help. 

positiv? and loving. 
Her flight on May 1 43 most positive influence; Keller Ausweis 

turning point - r^ 

extreme danger of being on street and 

public transportation without identity paper. Discovery of fvi.'i 
serious loveUin midst of deadly danger. 
AV\r(^b layers determination to endure 

ignorance of Ecxiöciereps^ of deportees and danger to seif, 
seif image as supporter of despairing friends, aged, 
coäleagues of several kinds (Hochschule, streetcleaner , 


Z ionist youth groups and ex-kibbuzniks,neighbots in 





VV ^'^ ^ 



.. 1^' ^"^ 

I found out only much later that my reaction to Nazi 
, atrocities and oppression resembledin many ways the attitudes 
--"^"öTsJ^te/ veterans of World War II j^ffs%=^^^«beyrt-te— ©ä^ i€ focussed on t] 
role of the State , Der Staat ras theulrimate isKHSxja^xJfckK 
Institution at the root of the catastrophe. Werner Naenown most 
original researctoere the life and times of the most prominent 

^ .„ Vadiar 

V ♦ A, 

16th Century 'Humamistiof Ifiis^^ometown St. Gallen (in Eastern 

. i 


l/\ V'^ \x^^' 

Switzerland, near e Constance) and bis 

• • 

acr.cbvities for the 

city State fdr ming undor hia leudc ^ship. Naef's constituent 

experiences were encapsulated in his belief that the national 

State of ]-. 19th and 20th centuries Europe was a transitional 

on the way y' 
political form jEo~ tne Tfi'Eernational conf ejf^deration of states as 

promoted by US President Woodrow Wilson and incorpo- 

rated in hie ideal of a League of Nations.and, in different 

ways, in theSwiss confederation of states ( cantons) limiting 

their freedom Qf/^litical adfiron voluntarily in domestic affairs 

(federal State) .and abstainmg from military action and 

( their 

power politics bynjiaking neutrality . internationally recognized 

docrine for Interstate rejations while being ready to defend themse 

ves as 


^le in arms" 

Versal military training, a Citizens' 
army back by the natural fortif ication of the Aps andadvanced 
miliary technology. He saw Ehropan political history as a progress 
ion of institutions incorporating ( passing througn f. khkikihk fei^e 
pattern. What dif^erences there were had to be explained by 

the national pecul€jrities of each "State. 

This concentration on governmentl forma yielded a 
psixJ^xKHi histoy of 


' i^} 



the classical aubject of history focussed on 

"^ ^ i^^ 




Organization of power throgh custoija oder written constituitiocä. 

<ft^ (Chang^VA/t^ ^^^ 

0{.^ C 

^^aJ^.^"^ " " 




^^occurs when"Life" jfeHkgs'pe^i e traLes existing Arrangements 
tnat ean not contain or adjust them, comparable to a sociology 
Of law stfcöfl^. Life is represented butthe "dynamicsl of a new 
Population gr oup, a social class, a^take-over of older existing 
arrangements throughpeaecful or violent meansrit^ may derive from 
conquest in war and violent revolution^ or the "energy" of a 
^n expansive young leade^ or tribe, or new uses of a group ' s 
"Volkskraft" through new leadership, or newidedologyies . Naef 
does not off er a vitalisticjscheme,and doe^s not avoid circular 

reason, ex eventu judgments, orstTriÄt-'^cause - effect investigations. 

As his trecgatment of philosophy in his Vadian bookfehoijws - he ilijh) 

t\ philosphically/'sophistacted 


detailed the philospllies 

- in Vadian he should have 
in the humanist ' s'.life. 

I n '^Eiochen yos.find references to vitalist language: vitale 
Kxaft. urspruengliche Staerki . conquest as a result of the natural 
(ie not tQ -4 ^e--^ ^^i t:: ^ciseJ ) LEBENS kraft of a s4^*^sfpie^ -yx,^ w ^i.. ^v w 
Tis oo^ ourse makej violence good if it leads to hBW stab/xHxiy^x 
Ibäiäiy^xibÄäf HÜsx i^ity. Judgment is related to place of an evnt in 
hi^ievolutionary scheine :Epochsfollow a broaderpattern, eg fpom^ 

l'cuf:/ ot.^^,;,,^.i;,V^^^' 

' C*{M 


estätfeato abolutism, if events are in line witnevolutionary 
Step. ., f^ 

pbsence of ethical judgment or 


he d 

-: surprismg 
not describe any war, but notes the effect of changes in 
power/ control oi^ frontiers, V^^^^^ ^\^ j^a^^^ r ^.7^^'^/ ^^^^ 

German bias obvious^ conservative Weimar: Versailles the greatest 



• > 


moral catastrphe of modern History: Germany believep in 

Wilson; s points but treaty do€Js not incorporateji^'atioänl self^derft^- 

m]tnation for Germany. Humiliatedin matters that they condieder 

(ri^\i.J jUj\ miw^ 



Srest Litowsk, B,ukarefet, control Jover Poland as Gn.sate/lit- 
Brie'Longwy ,^ariS Qß /expanion:^bver Belgium ^aäTarea not 
mentioned. Expa-.nsionist Gn. plans for East and West. 
Warfare on FRench soil and devastation qff the land not mentioned 
Since 1^'wrote on Kriegsschuld/i tbi^ i£- thr o m o Gt frgarn t ß^ /([rc' 


Partisan German-stablishmentarian Statement J vSwcdss neutrality. ? 

y 7 sw(D 



Oy>U ^ S •ö^''^ '^^^^ Another pointiHis ^nt()re earlythinking Äs power-related: 

he takes over Gierke's scheme that central power/ and obedience 



ofpeople are correlated; the ideal State is constitutional monarchy 
so^ that genoossenscaf tlichLiid,^, monarchic Spitze represent the 
utmost plitically correct principle,r'"mJt he apparent/lydoes nor 
relate genossft. to vha;:sd^r^ in any conceret^^ way. Now^ere is 
genosS|)in Dtadts;taat identified, ie civicsociety eg in Northern 
Ital^y Renaissance. The space assigne to genoss./is totally inade- 

quate./, the great epchal movements are royalist, the 


national statei'e^HäJ- represented by princes and kings^the preparation 
of nationa/ State in territorial expansions under kings is prdbevo- 
lutionary and thus good. The chapter on Switzld, in vol II 

, l vi >• jljJJ^^JK'H^/ ^ 

lackj conviction ; Wegelin^'says h^discovered genossft. xKyxabyx only 
\v^il927,NO indication of the link between neutrality andtrjjktpowfer. and 
genossft. Numerous examples ofwar-like and expansionist repub- 
lic5^, no mechaism indicated that would have that effct only because 
of GenoGsft. Ipresume that SWiss cantonal history is also a'^story 


power politicS/\ warfare 

y. I also presume that genosst. 

M \ 

) uW 

does not obviate Oligarchie or single-man controls, not 
warfare with pther genossften. o^ monarchical sta tes. 

r ' ^ 

NB: Swiss politics internationally after 1933 is German- 
oriented, Naef a arientation: "^^ ^^^ T^ <^A^'^ ^^' ' "^^'^'•'^ 
Versailles icrime against Germany and ethics; D ^ i \!^ 
Peace punishegl Germany for guilt it dbes not bp^^f 

antigerman Opinion of post-1918 West uneth 

rmo^ have 

case against Wilson etc. . ^ 

Here Naef likeEIcolsom : young^ liberal ethicicists bj^ame 
faili/^e of Order 1919 on Poincare andBriand^ the liberal inter 
Rationalist leftat Versailles. ^^^"^ ' -/ 

r '1 

The week following my arrival in Bern from Laborcamp 
<-N Sierre I began my new studies of history at the Univers/j)ty 
\'T ')J^^' ^^ Bern. My rollbook documents 14 classes for the fall term^ 


lopt c 

attested by the lecturers aq t o the beginning of classes 

t^ , had 
and, if attendance was adequate, thäf end.I hö^iK been 

late ""byfabout 4 weeks, detained in a |abor camp by the 

fe deral police departmenti? Bern, the capital since the scholarshi 

I had been granted took longer than fekpected to be made final. 


The granting agency,,, the "European Student. Federa 

located in Geneva, raised questions about my eligibility 

for their (American-Jewish: largessei by then the entire SEKxshxsJfc' 

äE>?±skx Jewish students 

program for refugee in Switzerland was financed by the 

Am. Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Since I had been employed 

by the Berlin Jewish Gemeinde as an "auxiliary preacher" 

for some time on the high holidays,was I still a bona fide stude; 

deßt ? Should I not been sponsored by another agency, the ] 

Committeefor aidto intellectual refugees? The'ip^P^^tment of 


State, under (the notorious antisemiic political apointee 

instal led ^ 

Breckeridge Long, whom FDR had agipHiHtsä to fores£sll 


political accusai'.tions by i^hHäxx^XHKikiy anti-innigration 

lobby in Congres^) , was under pressure in Washington snce 
the War Department had tcb be s ure that no KiHHHy American 
aid money should find its way tOyi Nazi or Fascist coffers 
and Support the ' ' Axis war ef fort. The accounting fdirm of LOeb 
and Troper in New York (with branches in Europe) • would 
submit detaixed records to^ the disbursing agency in New 
Yojf'k. . . 






Now, s£t Bern ü^^ vg ' ■■'■ oity wanted to take in as much as possible of th 


^(. X the hisoric culture 


■( V Cvv V 

'•}•:"• «^ o i^_c!j^ -j ^ 

'-: ^ 

o /'' my'^ eteGES5&n universcbty. ^i^I-eotmt 7^.- -^ ^»vy refu< 

-K— JJl:.. . ...- — ^\tectural • 

,.«.w<*-r j. 

\ 1 S 

V / iJ, 

s cathedr alJK, ^ml S^ ^ ^^^^ ^ the : ' — Univöi^sity and 

/. V^^^ 

^City) Library and its most attractive readmq roc •..,;. Here cc last 
y^y was "old Europe"th^ religions and threee languages( I later learned 

they had four, (and most people I met spoke English/l?a5k--we^f-ound^ 

oiv-xm:D_t^ip&~-afta:r weJxad ieft föfc^1\^eW..^o^t)' coexistiag as--^vfei±_:J;he 

j . Pf H/.'^^.^. ^ -"' <^ 
(5aüid_j::xmM^, and ]reav-i^=tg - ir^t^ gue st alone. f It took me time 


( . 

n<> ^ 




to become more realistic, but by then personal friendship with Swis* 

Citizens of several social bakgrounds and ages had developed. , 



and even if I learned to built in what ^XHfcsäxiöe hxx 


rankled me in a country^hose petty-bourgeois ; character/ 

, ^ materialism and seif- /'\ / jan not be gainsaid even 

in personal relations -- back then, in 1943 and during the waryears. 


I met enough decent "so"" -«d citizensf' to anchor my favorite 
Images in a--t=£^ea s4re or iT4Jcffla3i-:<e2Cprgrri:eBoeß[ that/^lastr in some 
cases y to this day. . 

' :• ^ 

This cOjf^'XUTD^ae was the mood that dominaterfmy feelings during my sud 
dies in Bern 

r as the peace of the town, the univsreity ^kd^new 
" allowed me to sort out what-jäwy emotiona^i^-^^^" needed to 


accept, the death of my c ulture and my friend^ the milieu that 

had shft|ped me 




A trivial jurisdictional question to be diposed of in a jiffy ? 
If that fine woman , Mrs Silberschein, would not have int roduced 

common sense into the issue ( a rabbjjwho fledBerln as a conduit 
for Allied (and Jewish) money to his worst enemies ??)- that she 
made me laugh about so mmch buerocatitis won hera lifelong friend..) 

And my long waiting tim^ - or so its seemed^-felt like a throwback] 
tSfie insecurities of hiding in Berlin..) Fanny Silberschein die^cetdj 
ted the Fund for Intellectual Refugwwa forEurope= in Geneva...) 
The Faculty"a ^ B ern offered to give me credit for the month* 
I had been late,as a routine matter. . 

The program I selected for my first term in Bern 
listed fifteen classes.Five of these had been in the Protestant Theo 


logy Department; in Old Testamnt/ and History of Religion. Three 
terms sufficed to eure me of the Illusion that I could find 
contiuity in my old love> history of religion.I stubbornly attended 
theclasses I had registered foir,a«d left theology behind me for good 

in the Spring of 19 45, 

Still, even without these classes in theology, my program of 1943 

/19 4 4 would look preposterously ambitious .*^Tte=aC^ä*^^^ f^y interest 

would soon focus onWerner Naef, Professor Otto Tshhumi (Prehistory 

andMIddle Ages) ; Professor Debrunner ( Greek^^nd Latin Cursory readi^ 

g) ; HHä Prof. Fritz Strich's (German Lit.since the Goethe-period) 

sRä Dr.vonn GRyerz ( Eur.Historiography between Reformation and 

■'f cviai*?- unconcentrated 

Enlightenment) . Bt was pts toTJiKte - only to takt' thisxpsxai^e spread of 

m language 

courses, a seinar, and several xHatäing courses (Arabic Aramaic, GReek,| 

Latin texts, /except for Ararb«: refreshei/courses r from my Hoch- 

schule years in Berlin). My behavior in 1943/44 resemOjbed my actions 

back in 1937, when I came to the Hoch^*chule a^ad a^bs^efe^fep^^afi highsctj 

^s^SSty*- (six of the reauired eight yearsjin 1935). 



\ v^s ^^ T^ 


Naef s teaching schedule, as I understood soon after 
attending all his5-. classes A his reviews ( "cursory reading 
of texts" , t^epetitorium, sources to. . . )his Greek historL(a 
textbook survey in three terms) and his advanced Historisches 
Seminar, seemed to geared to ,sarbi&£y ssxfixs± more than 

on<? gsroiip of students: Some were goaiadr ;tQn beginners ^ 

and for students who had had no GREK language or 

hist(pry im a " Human ^.istische^ gymnasium; some/vwere iiÄöigned 

// pt >AKcivy 
t^^^^tiap the Interpretation of 'sources relevant tg hi s 

lecture, or Seminars, phe central lecture course extended over 

four semestärs anc^fthe sequence of political institutions 

in megor .^arid some small but typologically signigif icant) 

European states since the Middle Ages -it was a summary of 

MHKfisxxxKwxsf European governmental forms organized in 

"epochs":ie^ prew±±±Hg (^^s-g^ßisfitÜÄfte— ofxgHwsr institutions 

\ r(Xv\om'.' , ^"Ose sequence rormed the "hisbry" of modern Europe. 




The Historisches Seminar I attended duringlmy first term was 

- — — ^ 1 

based on ^ analysis of a famous Roman document, the account 
Emperor Augustus had l4^ of his actjjties at home and in 


/' ST I 




the Vestal Virgins in Rome^^afed subsequently inscribed^^ stone 
Ainitemples all through the Roman Emire. The best-known 


had been found 

copy/of the res gestae 


^ o^w-**' 



the capital of Turkey , Ankara^dentTfiea/and published by 
P Theodor Mommsen,;afiÖ nence known as the Monument um Ancyranum^ 

\.iMil\t. ^1 ^he 

(X - 

senior o 

l/^ \ , ^ versity) • 

ed ' 

f Roman studies in continental Europe (Berlin Uni- 

(/ % 

This Seminar was offered by Werner Naäf and Professor 

y 4. w(; kl 

Wyli, the( Bern scholar on Roman history. The cpurse 

(whose introductory d^cussions I ad misseqf^ ieft a last^.ing 
Impression on me: Profs. Naef and Wil^^had interpreted the 
document first as to its veracity if compared with inde- ' 
pendent jburces of Augustan Rome, and theriäs to what it 
revealed about the tranaformation of the Roman Rpubi^ic 
into the one-man rule of the Principate ( Augustus) who 
hafi re1Si5^!# the shellS of Wse Republic/government 

but had filled the old formsxwithxihHxxxsaixiyxHfxgjawsx 

with his one-man power - Hitler and the Weimar Republic 

were not mentioned once, if I remember correctly ,but 

to m^.freshly free from the incubus of Nazi dictfitorship , 
it was an excitiijg design.plf Ge3elt!en fascism 0\^vip ci\ d * ^^i /(»'^ 
Vniaintaining akö^ j^ervertin^ Weimar 's institutions. * 

Themse perspecti 

eft a deep impressicbn on me,since 

Naef and Wily said out loud what I had never heard before 

in Nazi Germany - of course, the Hochshule did not teach 

Roman history. Before the term was up, I had been nHKuaisxiiaHsd 

iay share e£ the seminar's studentassigtoent / > ^^'^'^ . . 
: " ' select/rf^§Ffe?5%». of^om-- ^^■.^~^-^- ^^^r^-^^ ^•^^- 


Roman religion tfiat , teb/ |^ ^.-^ws^ v^^ 
reflected the republican restoration of old forms and the: 
trjsipformgtion of thefe forms by the Principate 'J filling them 
with autocratic contents. It helped me to overcome -i^- Oir 

sense of s strangeness 5l feit being added to a group of 

five V>^c-.w</^' 

scholarsxHS wf^eks after theirj^f amiliar with each 

other and the eubject had cxiSSsdxthe mutual acceptance of 

the Seminar' sxpaxfciKKHKkx pattern of interaction. 

' ^ 's- Aß: ih 

Unless my memory deceives me, fe^f-s/lecture j tried to do jufetice 


to Naef s design of a bril'ant pG±±E3 

C§nt^e review of 

Europeangovernment since the lata Middle Ages against the 

eventS- and personalities-linkecJiharrative historic framework.- 

At the beginning of volume one , > offered the captatio bKSHXx 

V v\ > 
benevolentiae that would justi#y th^ selective approach to 

modern European history ( still named "Weltgeschichte by him in the 

t ese books) • He would concentrate on political history, the history 

of the Staaten - the states - and their ultimate formation of 

the contemporary Staatengemeinschaft , the aupra-national 


nity of st ateg, from fefee purposeful alliances between 

States t9 the as yet incompletely realized Lea - gue of 
l/ations of the post-world war-*One world. 

POlitical history, the comparat^^e history of European 

governments, made concentration on a manageable field of 

rAsi(^nif icant economic history 
cultural history (Kulturgeschichte) ijatkracted -wcäsfeh the 

lysis necessary . Yh 


Na tion State of modern (ie postömedieval) - E urope. Naef 's biographj 
phy and his roots in late 19th Century neo-Rankean German univer- 
sity scholarship (he had studied in Munich and Berlin during the 
second half of World War One and had been proij^oted DrAhil. ^ 
on the strength of J^^octoral dissertation on the Swiss Sondi- 

er - 

bundskriegof 1847^ wkecc main political point was that this Ui^^ 
wäre athitoric peak in Swiss leadership of ,i[liberalism (and^ 
1 presume nationalism) . Naef had apparently concerned with 
Switzerland' s historic mis sion vis=a-vis the Power of a uni- 
f y(2>ng ,^ Germany . 

^'^ -y y^^S stiSz 

gffipjr±-e^^ g^==eg g4€^ Nä_p f.r^l^^;^sir^^^P^ ^ ^ ^ 


4 weeks late. IT was 
I also had to enter Naef's main Vorlesung, part IV of i* 



Epochender Neueren Geschichte, the last Semester of a four- 

- •• ..«•«M*<»«7«UII. I' ^'•» •».<»•-«»»*»• • 

ternijBeries on European history since the Middle Ages. 

The amphi-thaeter-i'like lecture room on the first (second) floor' 
of the main building of the university was filled with 
students and non-matrculated adults ^iHKxkKarä MHsfxx 

\v V' k 

the students apparentjy /^ not onf^y libe^^al arts majorV^ 

a tribute to lecturer and subject. Since the lectures ^ i/^*^'^ 

appearoS soon in print, , and Werner Naef^poke rather fast^ 


1 bought the books when they appeared and stopped taking 

^ his o^esentation jof 
notes. THus I don't remember at what poinu s^^'-JsB^srrrr^ 

modern history I entered his clas^, it was probably when 

he had come to the end of word War Oneand the peace arrange- 


ments of 1919- 1923. First impressions suggested that he sounded 

somewhat verbose and repetitive, at times excitable>2öfö 

but it soon became clear that he was qualifying hisptatements 

and modifying his lecture text, not^ a srhetoric device^but 

to insert .itiatters of spie complexityand mention ^ ^ggjij g 



a generalizatioKi. Since his delivery was 

intense, rising at times to excitement wh(|n a topic had 
aroused his emotione, his audience, probably used to the 
slower Speech of the «^nton Bern, followed ' with rapt 
attepvjbionpis presentations of at times abstract and involved 
political history. 

This of course w^^s his initial decision : he wished to 
analyse the structure of political institutions, and werk 


litical forms out of the concrete actions of hislb^iclL^ 

persi'nalities and institutions. 




L VU)H^ ^,'; 


> w as tho^oughly impressed by his Knowledge of European government 

ahd'.the cross=fefuropean conneciitionspetween the diverse countries 

■.provided__a._CjQii)mon _f ramework tieing together th| 
Naef was able to establish' ^ ' The "epochs"J hKxxHKxixKäxthsxxxx 

polx^ical / ^^' 

history of countries I had seen as quite diverse - if I thought abol 

abe^jHferi^hesft-. Much of what he lectured about was either totally new t| 

to me, or .-^isolated and frag mentary facts I had picked up from 

stematic readiijgs in authors that for one reason or another, 

liad _ 

I lighted upon, for separate subjects Ger zRäzi^zäKais Si^teg^ in 

history, I often left Naef 's lectures with his lee ^tuicus lingering on 

in my mind p 

m^sA for days, and feit thoroughly humbled by my lack of educati6| 

in the subject I now had elected as my major, Naef taught a 


connection between events that added up to 

" ^ 

rope" even if he 


had to subdividjiyt his presentation into regions or countries 

"leading^W^e^ochaldevelopment" or ^SiAiSd a .... period'd 

"mainstream" innovations like "enlightened absolutism" , the 

ution", the. 


revo\utionary achievemen^ PJ^ *f ^üyj^s of the "French Revo- 

/creatTörf? of '^instituxions reflecting theil 

^ ' J 

access to power, the ir embrace of the liberating.ideologies 
of the post- Napelonic period, The Czarö ' ,^^empire , Great Britain 

's "modernization" of its traditional institutions 

df^cadös of 
Today, after spending three ÖHKäKS teaching modern E urope 

d two 

to American undergraduates students and spening at least ^ decades 

3(i88ixxxiafifls^x well into the 19 6 0s to x^öö*^*w?aa2iiy' in the 

subjects and period of modern Europe iß the textbooks we used ^ 

f^xx^wsxjäKKXäKK — aa^ sitting in classes and seminar s ^'S^"'"*^ 

, the most valuable daily association wit! 
at Columbia Univers(^ty and ^ifeh Ocolleagues isf Kx^xxgHiiHHExx 

\ xxxxxxxxxxx 

aHäxfchsx junior and senior, in that international center of learni 

and sophistication -^^g^ York.^M the East coast of the ünited 


. ^ f 




Of course, Xxfeikx at this point, freshly arrived from the 
hell of Nazi Germany, with years of Latin, Greek,and Hebrew?: under 
my belt,and quite a few Seminars dealing with the Interpretation 
ijtt historic texts, I feit some criticism of the lecturer was in order 
to sav^my selfrec.spect , to place Naef into contextst was familiär 
withAvithout lo^sing t&e^unstinting admiration for his astonishing 
breadth of knowledge. Naef was presenting a "summa" of his historic 

culture n and the problem of a synthesis of what for him must also have 
been ibook-learning synthesized and excerpted from secondary materils. 
It did not diminish my admiration for this mature man that I feit 
some flaws in his design. THe key problem was the selection of 
what he would integrate into his lectures and to what depth or detail 
he wouldsucceed in doingtjhis. Political history in Europe needijs^^ 




to GS5$e room to the history of wars - it is punctuated by belli- 



cosity from the 16th Century on, andfasKfxsHjäxässx while Epochen 'notes 
changes in power and controla - bhanges in the maps of European 
countries - it says little about the causes and consequeneces of 
major wars , technologies and indusrial bases^^rmies and '^A/ ^ rh ^^^^^ \ 


\(\ i > ^. \ %i('. 

! lY^ ^ 



U (^^\ !' "^Cil -'U i ' i'l' -^ 

«. ^ 

V mav have been stubborn' vonsecrvative sgr 

and his roots 

in Bismar((;4an conso^r^atism ^j^^^ ^j^ ch^ose a sub-t^tle for these tw( 

ofhis historical 

works: he identifieÜiM', locus in 

asStaat und Staatengemeinschaf ti N MODERN European history 

vplumes, which he considered the summma 

the subtitle?- for vols 1 and2 

This I presume coincided in timing with Thoraas Mann 's famou « 

famous bon mot (or raal, if one pleases) , about the German] 

Citizen 's p»/i'v> V3(^^^^^^^4 r,^ 

i>alu c Jjjto in aspirtaions li^iftg^;:^^!!!!?»««^ &f "Geheimrat dr. von 

Peter Wegtun* — thej 
Staat" f Naef'fe biographefthe\ curator of Naef's papers deposited 

Cantonalbibliothek St Gallen/ notes/in an evaluation ofWernet 

Naef's somewhat ambiguous attitude towjfcd*,/] govrjenmental powers 

tUöt be that Professor Naef was not known for a readiness 'f^o Af 

crit'ically analyse government. actions, that he preferred the role 

establishment historian £:^^=^government'f;$ policies e.g 

in relations with the THird Re ich did not conform to post=19 45 

standards^It was Werner Naef's misfortune that he was unable to 
look/tWough the foreignpolicy verbiag;^ of cons^^ive/^Germanj 'j 
f}^g^w«r foreign policy tc[swim free of the hie Germanic ties 
to aain the ecognition the q^aürby of his historic 

^*'4^¥Sr*pu}d have deser-ved in th reconstruct(t)pn of .v:.. post-+1945 
liberal German po^tictics. 

; yi Y 

' f / 


H ^J 




Th4e technique I tried to apply in my Memoirs (}999), '^^YoL^'-4r we 

had a variety of origin^^ hj^ver successful oitunsuccessful i-e >Wfe ^^ 

11^ 3b4j ^^^pi^^OdLie^ to autobiographical materpals. Demonstrating the 

intellectual or ; ina broad anthropological sense, the cultural 

milieu that shaped biograp^y. Idealt//vith my ortodox youth 

in a Southfirerman middle town, wuerzburg, and its Jewish orthodox 

milieu. But of course, most writing on Jews in Germany suffers.; 

from the ignorance of the observer - he or she usually takeÄ his 

family circle or history as repräsentative. Hpw many Eastern 

Jewish writers or teachers have uphelc\a stereotyped image of what " 

"German - Jewish" culture really was.'f Usually their personal 

j 's 

famijy backgrund suppliegj the value structure and "n'Somal" 
behavior for"German Jewish" group psychology.I soon found 
out, that a strong strain of literature on German Jews \ 
had been written by immigrants from Silesia, Poznan, and the 

Yiddish-speaking group of Polish Jewry settjing inkities like 

j movement 
Berlin, Leipzig, Breslaa^ologne-j^Hamburg etc. In my youth in 

SuthGerman' Wi(erzniiEg we had noj-Märtin Buber and no rabbi Nobelnor 

BReuer dynastvl 



Irankfurt/Main, a mere 9 minutes away from it| 

Id ' , .> 

my hometowEn by expresdltrain. Tr^e Jewish ^>f>^ ^S.ent t..^'j[:he o 

bishopric-^- center. of Wue rzburg hadAexpellen (bts medieval Jewish 
• Vi'u,.^ during ' rm N '<^^ 

Jnhabitants, the las^N^j^w« on the Counter-RefBktion und/ the /v^/iA^ 

Catholic zealoty, Ju .lius Echt) von Mespelbrunn. They settled (^n the 

vil^ges dotting the rieh agricultural landscape we lived i^i, btrt: 

/\were prohibited by law to stay overnight in town when they atteuv .v.i 

ded the local markets that supplied the peasantry cSE the goods 

not available in their own "emporia". I concgived - our jewish cuIl 

ture in Wuerzburg as 


u i . 





beina on the way from its rural in-group origin in 
orthodoxa Jewry - wh^ch rei^i!fed on the cösely knit community 


t\/\.^ ^, 

of fellow r-e^e^±€ in fefee economically more dynamic 

towns önvirc|jjinent. The Wuerzburg orthodoxy rested^ on the 
concept of the Einheitsgemeinde -/un if ied^ inclusive congregatio| 
rathei^ than being divided into an orthodox and a "liberal" group 
Ours was of course a "modern" orthodoxy, and diffe^red from the| 
the extreme " traditionalists" whp refused all ritual community 

'with i5h;e "fundamentlistsV . I describa* my own brand of ritualismj 
Cii^ a mixed form retaining orthodox elements in a more generally 
xzJ^KH±±s8±H9 liberalising community. My theoretical model 
\A/~vas based on the premise that emancipation had brought a 

losening of the strict community-controlled |^tual conformity 
pf ime members inherited from a period in which rabbis and 


congregation Inders had a variety of control mechanisms 

at theij: diposal to coerce comliance with the communal 

patterns up^'TS^the ban " ^wh'io^i^ Cxcluded a culprit from 

pairtisifcÄtiTTg in the vital^'^egitimations the community 

had availablep\7hich peaked 

L"in exclusions that made areligious 
life impossible for the sinner . 

Seen in the context of historic change, i identified the Sou: 



German post-rural smalltown pattern of cur congregation as 


a transitional form be"Veenjaarly modern EUROPE AND THE 
flanelPAION PERIODph^t they <>tre§äed "uiiiity" and carried it 
throughuntil they ere - dest^ed contrasted with the variety of 

ritual patterns »a from 

radical "Reform" to the equally 

radical separatistorthodox"Ai/Strittsorthodoxie sanctioned by Gen 

German law during the Empire period. 



< I 

'. Leaving labor camp Sierre. 

4 i 1 



c?'? fHiV^; 






On December l,1943,!camp director Suess asked 


me to sign myself out of the camp register in my own hand. 

I understood bis gesture, the respect it was meant to convey, 

his man-to-man sense that I had been a stable influenae on 

the vol atile condition he presided over with little prHparH:t:iiaHxxx| 

£Hr insight into a poplation seething with resentment about his 

or any other .authority . Quite independ ently of my leaving, 

a few weeks later/he had to call in police t^o st op brawls 

between village men or youth and hi 

-.By coincidence 

or SD 


atmospheric change in the willingn^.ss of our internees to 
put up w ith their impatience, similarfetreet^Jute^^^? violence are 
on rcord f^orlc^her camps /too. f or that period. The Bern poiice 
and the Zuerich central d4 ^G^t o r'y jßi labor campshad been aware 
of tensions between local populatoions and internees al ready for 
some time and had tried to suggest improgements in camp Pri- 
vileges like leaves, curfews,or education and leisure time 
activities.Not all of these had made much senseUf' ©j^e^rr3XJttiJ.iiuLm 
a rabbi had turned up in the camp on a hot summer afternoon, 
probably an orthodox man,without «fafitajc-t wi€n our mentality or 
backgrounds.^In 1944, Bern collected /Information on the 
post-war plans of refugees and had the social agencies distribute had the secondary effect ofgiving the 
indeterminate time pers^ctive of "waiting for the end of ythe 
war" some elements of structur/ed planning in the minds of the 
internees. The Federal Poli ce Department used these questionnairesl 

I» • ' > 


\ . . 

mpatient and irritable as he coped with the multiple 
anxieties he had surmounted in his country of settlement, 
and worr((>ed about family and friends left behind/or 

worse,endangered by arrest and deporttion. 

1 I do not believe our Swiss guardians and hosts 
/^^^^n^M^»^// underst^d the emotionill condition of their charges. 

\]^} l\AO\^A\ 

Had they not done what they saw as their utmost to 

Ok J Ih i I ^ 

about 20,000 xhäh^kks Jewish refugees Äi and 



offermtS them the umbrella of their military preparedness ? 
Int^n^rß-ng civilians in miliary-style camps had been practiced 
by tibe democratic government of Western Europe x before 
Nazi persecution had forced political adversaries and 
"racial" enemies to flee abroad. D id not every male SWiss 
of military age have to accept worse conditionsjyhe was 
callGd up for Service in primitive barracks and tx^i^ß hostile 
natur i-^ orv ^ ^i r grTiiLLüij fe^ along many of the sWiss^ f rontiers? 

. f * r • » 

Did the several peaks of emergencies that caused the general 
staff to mobilize troops respect theiBTA cmvilian occupation^ 
their family obligations , their studies ? As lata as the 1990s 
the Federal Archives in Bern mounted an exhibition documenting 
the s-tn^^€htri of their ^gr cigfaltyirBrmn on the attitudes of the 
wHÄxgfeHkaHiÄinHX war generationF. Ir- e cmL^fto ( ■^.LhCy / Jewish refugees 
interned in "labor camps" (iramt! fiuiu the larger (^FfeTn^ 0j "Wv" 

whose education or leijpure time had not yetAbr-^adly 



Gestern Europe^^ere quintessentially city people 


formed fexi by sports 


-natura So** 

.g.pybh movements 

orkk § Zionistconcerns with retraining for agriculture or 

the Grafts 

r / 




iVi cc 

kr/u */ / 

^\ I 

I ^»* ^A, 

feÄiKxiRxgÄJ^ÄiR^xMsxirkHMgkxx chaperoning t^ through an inter 

national maze-of SWiss, non-denominational , Jewish and 

American offices/ 



te and I 

U^' }± 

(■ Xj^ W«Kci 1( c n0 5" A/vJ U vv ^J- <>j 

^/^'li\ meeting EiKÄiK^xx 
nrraWin Ä|siiX«ÄKkx»8xmen 

like BiftÄi'^Strich ivin Bern,aH^"/f anny .Silberschein in Geneva . rt^ 

or Q ^rlc g" 


TTril|s^^^ xkK£[s:}«:£:Js:±:txx:k±fis: 

SK^xiXKEtaxsiäxHlxfeKkÄXXHXX who^like the best I had encountered in 



Berlin had been living their humanity in bureaucrat^c settings 

they served and transformed, as it were with their pl^lfi 

''^'■^"■^i/i^/ ./7v<, 


In the eui^phoric feeling 

that receded slowly since I had 


a core value I had bee 


entered Sitzeria nd, encounters such as these had reaffirmed w^ 

^n ■^l4S«p^;i§-*i^rnwithout ^^tftÄitÄÜHStx/ thi 

RÄlöPäHRiiii^xÄJ^ientation fhäthad shaped mycommit; 

translated into community activities in Sierre as I responded to req 
quests for help in writing letters (in German) toLhatever 


thority a f ellow-internees hoped to appeal to; helped organize 

leis ure time activities in the camp and ( a few Saturday evenings) 
Chamber music Performances in tovn; gave Hebrew lessons to a CjSll) 



^ \^ ftlv 

^^group of younger inmates; served as leisure-time coordinator for 

the YoungMen ' s Christian Association in Geneva; and spoke up for 

bldto up 
inmates with ^« camp director Suess when he iMicSM.-^ ^ molehill of s| 

sali transgressions against his camp rules into a mountain of 



penalties and rec riminations. and I could use mtarWorkassignment in 



]n (X A^^^^^-jt 


<C^CKM^ (XO\M V* 


i)u< Jm 

b^Y^ ^^5^ ^ "^^Kj;,. ^J4 



«•«"- -T- 

I cai^ öt clß^ that I 

^ 1 

eil Lire exi-x/iluiice ul Leiiig 


a-CÄHp, e«b^ ec Leu ~4Ur!a £< 



fcf pei ' gyi 

ose contact with otliers, surrounded by the inevi table 

ncise emanating fronüd 

m^ colleagußs a^ the common iiieals or the 
iure tiine ft leffeifay a-^thcir tigiiDg tzaai dJjj^ feh^r arorR scläecrüre&r'' I knew that 

ras^ condition in SwitaerlaiM was privilgged, .My privAIE 


wasarfcthing but bleak, I was able to express my emotions freely in 
letters to LOtte - it wga deepening love and imitual confidence craving. 
The canp, I found at the end, had in some ways confiimed n^ youth-move- 
ment values ,stiff upper lips had a soothing efffect on excitable com- 
rades^ ejctemal impertmrbabiblity and the ponuea? group leadeijs 
optimism contrasted with the rn^^o^S tr oral pessimism of my Eastem Jewish^^^ 
fellow intemees. And^Tt^ &mrades gave me more than aJ|ense of punpose in 
assistÄing others Vr-^rnny ^Iwijm - .^^rgpr-T^^y^i npSH p.r\ irojiic style of dealing 
with the 4 ' iiiilü ; ^»( tragedy we bead becoi^e ^ i^jmrt |S54e eu ^ bJi ' ^J^^ ffie""gyrfpathy 

and couiradeship projecteär in the humo rfaio fo gHrt of Eastem-Jewish daily 

^y. ' out cur 

speechysdself-deprecating ironies, letting the airxof the ballfions o^ German- 

V Jewish steeei, the pathos of |±ie German theatxe- drama against the 

^ .seHnaci the enemies in their undepants, tbe 



c aswdtr ^dismantling (jf gentile 

dby pretending to submit to ite force v*fil 

while leading it (or them) scbep by tiny step to their denouement. m the 
SEKSExiaf literal sense of the populär stage that had formed them. 


I needed^TTTycofirades to stay detached for the f irst tiine in i:y lif e in close 


cx>ntact with 

ay ue , 

theäjar daily hgÜji4>o and [vtheir emotional culturc I had leamed 


g^ to laugh ( and ^ gj^dJu es^cry) with them, not about them 

This was one of thdvays if^-: b Q ing i» i this camp collative 
left a lasting geäf^ctn my education saca^xfxKJKi. I came away with the satis- 

faction that even HrxpxKKXSKi^^xbagKHKCSK HfodfehKxJsHitoXKiafx^' in the adversity 



-1 Wii^ 


of being in a forced collective 

A .1 

'V - 


■I 1 1 . 

u * • • « 

with the aggressor, in t his case the canp director v4io watched over law 

* • . 

and Order . topr^' to make life easier for your fellow- 
irmates. As the weeks passed Mj^/a small group of friei 
those of US v^o had tried te make 

•ied te makeii life ■ easier by/being' ürra 

^V, , , ^ r — • 'Il"t 

o\ ^ maipulative..' Ihe caitp dssctiegyin S^-erre and at the center , realized 


\ \ I « ..W\^^ that ^«gTiad becxane restiveand "-^'i^HnV - iH onirr j 



as the end of the war 

Lei^ture time diver sions^iiEecures or cl^sses 

XKHäK^HHfcK could not remove the reajt|y we f aced every day - thet 
II '^l^d-U, .«;4 we had been glven an »Indefinite sentence" in cur lntemn«^at weight 

tc ^^^ O^tyutl^^jdH^ cäid these diuioyan^s^s have against ti^fe iTTnense gooc,forti.ine o:p 

^M*^ \cc^ P^-rl^H«- having reached a safe haven vdiile death reigned all around us ? It is 

IVA/) -n'' 

^a^^jill{iJ^i;piLlii!JLiJ^H x 



/>> J 


easy to be wise in hindsightand point out the lijnitations - financial, human, 
or the lack of charity by many vy^o feit themselves oppressed bycircxjmstances 
andpowers beyond their reach. 

^%(A^\ l/r' °" ^^^ "^-^^ aspect, the indef^inite duaration of being confined to 

canp intemment, a few fortunate refugees were given the privilege to conti] 

nue studies thatjiad been interrupted by their flight or Nazi perse- 

y^ ^~~' - ; 7 -il^ae?:! — ^ 

cution,^^t a Swiss ^universit^ ^ap^Maägajsxperienee:. w iUi a OiiiLliii y rui.diyn üt ua| 

^'"~-. — ' /Hien 

lents to* Swiss universities had b€:en m^ageable for the Ä**fci> Police .:■ 

ey xHBHHHKtaäxxikEx M^ded the^^hles^ refugee students in 1940xp5tiixiiL 

:inancial ability, and säi^^^^F-to ^ 
tl e countr^en their studies were ioncluded ( or v^en thi^'money ran Mtx 
"^^^^ • SJ^^^ee-g^^fttze rl an r i wac dottcd ti th ■s cfeeQl&-^er:'-wealtt^^foreign ^sh^idLn 




vjgeing intemed in Swit; 

i/DOY« ^a 



^j\r >M '^' 

Switzerland accoirplished/>*iat extreme persecution 
in Nazi Germany could not - ac3mission to a foreign univers<)ty to conplete 

my studies, a iifiifu^fc nf scholarship <ii«ipiy awarded by an inteimational (non- 
Jewish) European Student Aid Organization |^( *) , permiötfeison ^f o resxdae 


cornmunity affairs teching, lecturing, Z ionist comnunity v;ork, friendships 
with the settled Community and leaders like Eugen Messinger, the 
rabbi , and a few social workers in Geneva with v*iom I saw eye--feleye 
on many issues. 

When a small grfoup of friends gathered ()n the eve of my 
departure from the camp to help me celebratööaß end of my canp intmment/ 
the annoyances ^^ hHxiH5XEXKkH>3;(i>: we felt^.being restricted in cur 
mobility,living in a collective with strangers, having to obey alidmt 
tight schedule, ^rather simple hygienic conditions etc. began to se 
move into the background of my memories: I had prevailed over the 
Situation by KiakiKgxxfcs tuming it into an occasion to be useful to 
othersykeep things in-|(Wp perspect(()ve.and helping others not to pity 
tbemselves and to use cur time - my lifetime nobody would ever restore 
to mekgpcKHfcöiigxxKXHHxrj^iXHHEfeKS if I wasted iOvirijluseless despair. 
I quite understood how many fellow internees must have fvelt about the 
empty hpurs qand the useless work most of us had to do without being convinced 
thet the Swiss vdio had planned it for us really had thought ahDut 
our pulling\roots from sany alluaial Stretches ^long the banks of 
the Rhone, the cost-benefit calculation worked only ifthe non-economc 
benefit were included: the documents dealing with our camp work suggest 
that the authoritieds feared that refligees would be seeen as drones 

^ chl>0^0l*^ 

lounging around ^jhe ^ubjic Squares a^xJÖqKXKxtxKSK -ari^^iGg the 
i'^citizenry xithx 3±iat saw itself as working hard to support thertK2d3aK>äK ^ 
Antisemitism would begiven "environmental support" of the "lazy-Jew>. 



VdM .\\U;W/ 

P c1 <:^-e>^^^ f^ 


On December 1, 1943/. I süepped fromvsiavery to freedom, 
as J[ sof t-ly huinmed.|to :. in the ^'^empry train that carried 
me füom the Rhone Valley to the capital, Bern. It J^pT J/Vt^^'^ 
be^ only half 

me when I had crossed the fron 

e federal police that had arrested 

ween — Baden aiid 

S ^haf fhauoo 

'fch-e— mitfri-e— o#- 


Nazi depor- 

tation ä^i^-thre— mta^fde^f — th^yi-faa^-gltarn^^-ed-f-or me in an 

SS^exeution pit near Riga/ or iß''C^\'^f^]'\ü^7^-^n 



\ o^yirt/c^:^ 

r Ly-w€nrki: nij" iwh to death I ^y~~Qxh mis^ 

feet±o!f^^he tense flight to the secure haven of neutral 
Switzerland had made even my iinmi r1 j n Ip capture byla Swiss 
frontier guard a joypus event;ÄB in one 

I turned euphoric; I had passed through 

. . .c they 
Controls on pjfjit- German tr-ainf ' * ^""^had accepted 

idKH:kii:yxpHpKXS hhö the aHihsÜKXgiHssgJHXi identity card 


I had received from a German ministerial official ; other 
Germans and Swiss, Jewish and non-Jewish friends, had risked 
freedom, Eiealth and life in a veritable undergrond railroad 
to ^ help me to help myself. I did not know the horrid end 
deported Jews were destmed for, ^ like an aniinal /all 



to freedom. 

instinct^/ focus/on running from 
I had escaped \ \ twiceby the lukcy seconds of sheer coin- 

didence and the speed of a trained runner: Lotte and I had 

, ... . . ^ -n , T, ^^ l\ nvr/ 4l^c^V k^^v^j^biL^ I / 
hidden m an aiyraid shelter >'•? -.:,..:.. ^ ../'.--^*v^<-H'-^>'"^'^^i«Bg^ h^K^L 

stairs 7>-^v>u yUflL ' ' 

the. xisirs to m$ UjüR-Q room in Berlin Char-lottenbuesjq. 

^\i*iri outsprinte^ them when I walked into a trap : in search 
^^ a bed jH ieii j Wds-IU-diikj ^wd^xijiug Rgh; they, the police, 
had failed to lock the fromt door and I outjumped them 

0.f stairs /<> yy \\ 

and tbir handgun three f lightsl down in/ %^ blacked-out 

Lei bnizstrasse. .The physical experience of being caught 



4\ c^L ^^ "the enem§^ 

by force^Anot the "holocaust" 

AI [^^^(m\ XmJJ of which I stilll knew nothing »HXExihHHX üxKakXx^xwHS 

-traÄS^iHXKiKiäxxtxsEifxxKJfeH had taken over my waking life^^ ' A 
a permanent watchfulness and caution^ the spring that would un- 
coil at any moment .This was theltrauma of my Underground life 
for more than seven months in Berlin. That it seemed to just 
-fU c ^«^^ '*'' ^^'^ fall off me when I met the first Swiss guard on his own soll 

J -TiV^ did not 

of being free fj 

moment of liberation, of intense euphoria, 
th^\' f 

ugitive's moment '^^^fSSTT/^ ~ "^ 


forever .Slavery and fear need-^w^irk to 

W ü vi 




^4Va p^ct ^jt^^*^^ ' 

dissolve.But the memory of that euphoric momement 
stayed on*)5eyond alljwords^ J'ubilat«^», the Ninths, 
the Yom Kippur liturgy of my/yputh. It guided perceptions. 
It filled the landscapey: the lakes, thdmountain walks, 
buildings and citiscapes, and could be apprpriate^^s I h^ .^ 

made the ^ ^ ^ -> of my youih/Tnyown . c/C-l 

as we . , -. ' i> >' j>:»- /. times on trips^ vacations 

retreatsWith LOtte and friends^ It was not all t he cou nt^y, but 

' ' " ' ' " iglesfei%»d the 

a'Btea a lifetime, 


'Liebeswiese' / the iakKxäx neolithic lake-dwerTing I hnelped 
excavate,"* the Elfenau and the swim in the Aare^ . 

The Three yaars I spent in Bkxh the country whil(| 
I studied for my doctorate in history may have neen among 


the deep-down hap^iest of my youth^althojjt when we married less 
than a year^Eter arriving we may well have been the poprest 
couple tleing the know that uear in that Civil Registry Office 
intern . ^^ 


rSi' \>' 

.'5 (/tJMl 



I i 


ThatEnsheimer was not the only good friend I had 
MÄ«« in camp made mj -- f di ytfeU '- LO c a-m^r-±^idBe an almost 

* , 

sentimental occasion. j^y late fiovember, the bureaucratic tangle 
between social Service organ izationj/allocating -^fha^: had bccn- 
ra:.. American- fundö/had been strfeightened out, a letter from Geneva 
,^ended all feb« tensions -i==.feai±::i£E±t , ^/^ j I-H'ta-d-^^Q'e^f^^^^ü^^ 


shrunk to 

what in fact they had bef , annoyances. We said goodbye in the 

self-depirecating and ironic/ style tBat had sustained us lojng 
before a cci -do n ^^ had thrown j^iig? together here.A watercolorr sketch/iexi 

e xpressed 

• A^Ji' 

dVi*^, while my budd 


d^ - la slightly idiotic smile on my face as 




,.,-__ _ -.._ ^^ , -ffly"*f r ^r-en^^ — hpadf northwarc 

j....^^^ xii^ x^uiviviies i^^e^üproö£irag willb"- -' '' '^' 



../.».- z, w stumps, cro 4:odi les' 

t ears running down their cheeks-r -^rcr "i^ c y w o re<Jg'crt!rfj''H&y€ The artist 
a^German political cartoo nist named Saul,turn' up lat er ii ^^ ' t^ -e s J " •{ C 
fG^THrrarr-exT-ire*- p olitical Km^mbe^r- of t he "Refugee parliament" CtQ K 


Lai ' Uütfc Ul i t h Q " g i o fti-si>- -t^r€te&% . 

t^"T>eett"-iKEec fci4---b o a _ 

^T■d•-ßo%--Ä.f-f ©Gfe our g««* ■t^s^rr-'-rp^-'fraT-x^v^--^^:>ei<^ . xßMXXEiSHiäxixHH 
We— ^ fcrc hoi-G bcca ^se wp hf^d t.n nin— ^o-t^-e^^^^iT-ygs^Jewish fWteircce, 

the ir'eplaceable Eastern Jewish contribution to disaster relief, 

keeping us from drowning 
was fe8ixk*SaxJtSxJ{8xxÖJc8«S in self-pity. 

\\0.(k W.Cfli / 

■time-s gifa 


tili, none of usylike^d to live in a forced collectivel 

U V\(MA VMTII ' / y y 0^J 

We anr>-jfefce stopped^in our i ijB^/tracks , anxious r-wscroe—s 
•trotstfüTieLbsi^y flashes of guilt aifd soul-searching a-i)out family and 
friends we had to leave behind/ We drd-rKrt-b4iiWe that our almost / 
mvisible contribi\tions to the Swiss war economy ma4e-mucli difTereni 

-ce. Did they haveiCto bottle us up in these camps ? Resentment on 

- //fi> u/»f /t< (/^Jov'/f - ^^' ^ 

..; '<? ' ! ; i« 



eitherjside , refugees and natives' seeirufed to be 
tflrt^ stereotypes arising from ancient pr4judice in religion 
and folklore. Documents pubiished in tj^e Ludwig -Bericht y\^ X^^^-'i^LL 

j-ftdir cato tbi<it- suggest that the Bern>^lien Poice and the Zuerich 
Central Camp Administrat ion becaiTv6 aware of 



\i\\y v;ii rop=? brawls/did 

explosive situation/xand searchd f/r relief ^stfefasasta better leisure 
/^ time programmes . After I had lef/^/S^ 

break out tlreire and i*i /s^v-erC'^-i other locations . Exfectations 
and pet ceptions were to far /part 


t/T 'Fhe — camp s ^i rrfaxT^ J i -eä — a long^ ^^- M.andi 
d-3rftg~-a-trtrTi:ud-e t o w a r d s -^ife^i^^ee« — »6- © xp r-e-e->>js^d j/ti^ tiiree decades -o^ 

/f !/^ I // / 

/ police work - g;t:anting ref urgees asyl 
1 li) J Ij^^ meant as a^ licon c o lo — B e fehl e ( d ow n pe 

um from persecution was not 

often ; . / 
r'in crüde terms' o^ top pf village-pump pettiness and fear of the 

fnanci al burdens e?>» rg/ri^i ' ref ugee;|r might rmpcrs^on federal,and cant 


/ 11. pub lished documents of Ithe period reveal anti-Jewish sentiments 

fl L J i| tonal budgets. ( Untii 1942, the Jewish Community in Switzerland, 
'} P tf y \^ M^l^^^^^^^^^^^ 19,000 streng,/««» American -^unas f ed by \^ o luuLbit:JT — uuiiLi i 
\Li j\\ ^ U^J?^' had reembursed/ Bern for money spent for Jew ish refugees.) 
j lA '>^^' r*^^ ^ ^^ 1944, the Alien/ Police division of the Justice and POlice 
^ iA/i^^a^li 'i4t D^P^^"t^^^t **^ re-migration* as the obvious soluabion '^as j'fehy war 

questionnaires /about their prcrytr ^i/ar gJ cgRSX migration plans/y- and 
to / 

electiöKXxw^jfs representatives from among themselves to assist 

'i^''-c(7\fi.^\Am^iAt hA/\\k Wa^^^ J'^i?i/(nr j'ö» fi'ö/^ oi'/^^^'^^u/t'^'tp^r^ 
XRX^ksxxx thetir^-be^HHhW--~e^thr^^ 

• &kb!"l"i " HdLuin/humu . (The story of this Fluechtlinqs Parlament 

will be touched upon later.J). 1944 had ^^x^^iö^^Wfted the " the -end- 

in-sight" perspective", the-^^^^^i jl L im ?^ posed ^ the camps 

the end of the war came in si ght: refugees were asked t 





7--4 i fl 1 i » Q n ititlL. ,S Tri:]S:^l::3:^^»H-rrTn '' 





of/|Jewish ref^ugees, a^s^l^eivä^traervtChief Heinrich 
Rothmund had expressed it, proved groundl 

ess . 



My ex perience of being confined to' prison ( about two 

v$eeks), quaranti ne camp under mi^iitary control ( about 

5 weeks) ands labor camp under ci.vilian control (about four 

months) were neither dramatic nj^ traumatic — I was young 

enough to become quite curious/about what would probably yP|t(öl/iw 

(y unique situations in my futu/e life, and a43»@«^ ^uphoirica-JrJry» 

"high" about our escape and,^ about the prospect of 




i^e^gÄT happy ej;i4-to the' ß^riendship with Lotte thi(^oug-h almost 
four years of war-time ß/rlin.I did not find it paradoxical, as 

I would Aunder "normal " c/ ircumstances , that the aÄa^=ö^34rc 


li ves^we had led i 

ea pital — q4 — ^lie musL up]j!j)ubive regime 

n histo r^ h^d ended in the regimented routine of 


ison and internmejat camp in the freest country in Europe. 
I. ' w-a^s--.J3Ät..-Ä-i-OÄ^TY£mrt^r— wtzrr -imöm'J h ad s txrdTreti--aÄ<ä— 


fled ac ross thei- f JLon t ir^j:v-.liad -ra^tte&te-d transfer to a- --cdiRjö 

whexa- dxetaxy , la*s wer e -ob's e r ve d ,^"irTi 3 1 e f t after six we^^lcs-. 

It might have b^en my youth-m ovement habit of comraderie, 
or my youth, / through my entire camp time I found friends 
with whom I fdlt comortable, and belonged to/\the loose gr ou^s, 
who^ k«Kd one /interest or another i n eoi tm^Li^ ^With few exceptions, 

our guards /- cantonal police, men and women on reserve call-u 


in the quarantine camp- exhibited a friendly or factual inter=- 
est in their charyes^ friendly policemen or military p olice 
being an almost absurd novelty a consideKing the dangers their 
colleagues in uniforms had posed for us in Germany. When I learned 

^ - 



on my first visit with lUdwig and ILse Schoeneberg 
in Lausanne that on^of the uniformed policemen in 
prison had dictöted an escape route for me to Ilse when he 
had transferred Lotte to a Laf^^sanne camp/it hit me like a brick 
not only that uniforms can be friendly andhelpf ul, but also that 
the Buerger - Citizen - in this uniform had been formed by a humane 
State whose code of behavior had room for personal responsibi lity, 
religious or secular^if need be against the State. Less than a year 
earlier, I remembered, I had witnessed the agonie s of a German 
officer at Frau Pauselius whose oath to t he FUehrer had bound 


him to obedience without recourse to a political cu Iture 

of civil or human rights. 

» x.A.;i K ft^Ak^ Like everybody eise, c^f-^^^Ä«.«^, I s»3»r disliked being 
AA"^ 1 jj LiLLji»L<^i - - i n g by aemi-military schedules and being thrown togethe 


ith strangers in the narrowestof Spaces under rather simple 

sanitary conditions. But I did not had become second 
nature to f acesituations that could not be changed for the moment. 
bM±:even if I remember moments of he-a-tWl ^rötest e rupting 
against whomever was pre sent - my father's temperament . j would 
preserve "Haltung" , and face camp as a challenge^to my self- 
respect and the style of life I thought I owed myself. 

/J / tAr P h l e ( 

( rt 





Mow I had appreciated the quiet politesse of the rontier 
guards, the policemenn, the militaryldetf ails guarding us in 

be avoided at at -^ 

ölir camps or in prision durig the b f irst six weeks -t fc^^SS^ j e v er-yr-| 

their feG%ft^fee^^«rrtgr tr\ Germany » "dangers" to 

pi costs. Now the cocial contexts re yno e rtoa 

sense j 
its normal hierarchies, , maybe with a fresfeiHHxAxof the 

distortions our adversary relationships in Berlin had 

-s torQbty ped — om viewb ul ua u I ^-egKex:. In Berlin , the aircle ^ 

of trust ended with my Community, ihKx^Kwxshx — now i^rl^xtend^ 

to Society at lfearge,from the allen police officials in city 

administrators_ , 
and federal government to the U'>iversity^^-alid^±isxfKH±:ixKiy 

t diculty ^1i0m: heq($i^vtq'--t;^~~overcom^ the deferis' 

self-consciousness that had become seond nature, iHxikKxiibxaxy 
Sltaif^ the crimp in everyday social relations : that even three 
^years in "free SWitzerland" were not enough to erase. 

nW3Idl3d : 

: 13d 

DNinnod : 

: nod 

DSW >iDV9 nnvO : 

: VD 

3DVdd3A00 : 

: AD 

NOIiiaNOD 3Nn dOOd : 

: 9N 

3SN0dS3d ON/ASnO : 


A (^vjJ<;U^ 

Student in Bern, 1943-1946. 

The years 1943 - 19[f 4 6 were the last time in my life when I 

had been a full-time Student!^. " They were the first thj^e years of our 

^ war. 

marriage - we shall so^on celebrate our sixieth^anni^ersary . They 
were our first exper^ence l(^Aa free society. Private happine s and 
public miser y did not as preposterously clash as they|^ had done 
under Nazi perseceution| fii year before we crossed theGerman-Swiss 
f rentier, Bern had ruled that Jewqdid not qualify as political 



ifase tne^ 



tHfey had been per sected only for reasons 

of race" (text ofy^police ordinance of September 19 43) . A total of abou 
about 34,000 Jewish fugitives were a^rjegteÄ by SWiss frontier police^ 


and returned/to the Nazi=controlled territories or countries from 

which they had vetured crossing over. The number of 34,000 "refoulö^" 
is larger than pT u v i^»ff 6 Swiss and other estimates - they were 
compiled by thek"expert commissi son"A|set down by the Sw^ss authacitiesl 
ties in the lafte tqqhc. p^rm — rrCTrP^-~fr"^T Th r ^ I^ngirage used by Swiss of 
officials and preserved in the dpcumentary collection published 

of 1953 \^?\f\f' p u blv e- 4: 

. having s "urvived 

r-epoiit — ( — a white papcr) — to ■ Pa 

The truth is we were overwhelmed w 
ersecutioi3f' even if we did not know/of th^Ho/rfT 

until after the war^ «^gd yjrlobody in our Aenyironment *dÖÄ»*e \ 

what they must have known. The reports Prem chürch and medical iwifs, 

■r^' W ^^^^ <^^-^ fcl^^"^ 

^gfon the mass murderf^in Eastern E^urope that I had been 




o •> W ^ a^d -</ 

shownf in typeed copies lid speak ofi mitder - but there was as yet no 


word^no Begriff, to identiffe the horror. <ffift8'f^we had be6---ecome used 



.M l^qi [ u. V y^ci 

' ■{ •^^^t'l' 'A'' ^° ^^^ ^^^^ °^ Pfögroms in Eastern Europ^"^most }**^V^ f^igure of spe^ 


speech^lmost like what was to be expected. 

Ow» i«M utttttt^am >m Umt\i I «ii« 11« 

made a table of content of what these years meantto me and 

Jewish youth in Nazi Germany IM^Left us withir 

fe turning points/d^ermined 

Lotte in our private dialogueswith ech other an|)dour need to 
deal with/ji^^^art our Jewish youth 

Our turning points ^the^^f^ivate li 

by our public misery, the turns of persecut(^on to murder and 

utter brutality.the narrowing of the Jewish living space, our 

jmA helplessness and our moving togeher as closely as we could>i 

rMy no avail^a^:JKrn of the Nazi screw brought death to somecy us< 

1^ \ t ^•o^A ilAT 


I had been brought up in formal Jewish conservative molds and 
had yielded to Ba^errK/.whe«--h^a^Jced-me to lead holiday Services in 

' 4 K , 

synagogues and small schuls in Berlin./ ^'raditional faith broke 

down when organized reigion had no answer to the murder of children. 
'I lost self-control when I preached a sermon iU aü^-^irphanage in Ber- 
lin (ble f alja. of ^ 194^ t&Ht.j had been informed that bhildren and 

be deported within a few c 
fJAfKrt-r oit but lost itsA.forc 


, ,.. -..ass death. 

(I desribed the event inVEye ^of the Storm j ; ^ This enabled me to 
try to serve comunal funtions e s toQEJb -rreligious Services, in the 
synagogue, and|minimize(;| hiy discomfort with the contents of praerbook 
and biblical texts. 


stopped being a significant issue for me when I 

tried to link my studies in the Bern'^theolof cical dept. of the 
un/*verspity.[ The teagher I had chosen turned out to be quite 
inadequate dompared with my Berlin Hochschule i/ htsrductors j^ 
My attempv to maintain continuity was a self-deception: My faith 
and its problems had va--nished. Tbe/^ureaucrat of religion held 

■^ =— •■-S:::^^ : '^' ^~ ^ — \^^ Cl^/U^O^"^^ u. U\ 

no appeal for me, nor did the pl'oliticiS»^ofhdialogue and Publicity 

^ ^^^ övvv \VLji 







Having fled to Switzerland amounted to*»f6an a change ot ^^iar(L, 

My flight was an act of migration. I was not ai 
an exile/das politische Exil.\ The"existential" gap betweem 
poli:|ttischem Exil and Juedische Auswanderung wurde mir bereits 
?o'mkner Entlassung aus der Lagerinternierung klar - des "Exil" 

warAuf die RDueckkehr und dxen politjbschen Wiederaufbau 


postlNqazil^eus^lands ausgerichtet, ^iffereni^rt je nach Ideologi e 
und Fuahrung^, Organisation u.a.mehr ./rhe Exil was 

pushed into 

a defensive nationalism the more they understood that the Allies 



would not rebuild Germany "Wüh 

planning for postNazi Germany. 

Clearly, when I had left Germany, I had no other horizon than 

iAining a pos'Kazi-BerJin Jewish community . My study plan • 



in Bern was bal'ancing Jewish. ^ecfticätidn, history of rligion, 
% Jewish Community Service, cultural reconstructior^ c5fe«f«d rfe^^ » ^ 

a r wvg^ h^J Jl"'perspective^how^ in the steep reduction of^coursej I ^^^^^ 


^H^ f^ : •^ 


<book in Prot^tant theologwV\r€i]rthe third term^only ^njin his'o 
religion was left. By then, the international mails functioned 
and I saw that my assumptions had been hollow. It was only when 
I migrated to New York in 19 46 ,and (^^ij)assed through LOndon and 
its dif ferentiated German-Jewish emigre/P ^cpmmunity, that ihHx 
I began to see the finality of our flight^~SiS«ö 'femigration. Still, 
€fi«-iate as the !nid-1950s, during a reseahhjsabbatical in Heidelb- 
berg; (at the university life brary) the idea of a return ii^'nÄeiiöva; 
^'ib^-/'^Q ^ Jewish Community of Berlin, yjlost all its appeal: Nazi 
"fhought and ^^^^^m^^ sentiments among th^aver^age German 


(who o^^ce 

däli not recognize me physc^cally as "Jewish") 



set me apart from Jews and Germans alike..' The roots were 
too deep in the soij. for an unseVconscioushnproblemtic 
' V, 'jmWWI'^ ' reyationships. Even 20 years later^ A^^hen I was Golifed to 


\jX -^^ \hO^ 

a professprship in Berlin, the subjectwÄlpwas "research on 
prejudice and anrtiseniLtism" : I was typecast as the expert on 
antisemitism even though I w ould plac - i it y piujectiono ^ 
thjs^^---nirrpnf "porpotrate^i- hlbLuiy^^!!S t gave considerable space 


to studies oM the "brain drain" ^ Jews from Nazi Germany 
in a coinparatf>ve setting^to the construction of "aggregates" 
( groupä^f intellec^ual migrants and their subject matter, 

and to the structure and d^^namics of "culture change" through n 


migration//.If we broke new ground in Berlin during mygyears 
of tenure in the chair of the institute^^ it was a re-introductio; 
of the term "acculuration" from cultural anthropology to the 
study of migration and the transfer of knowledge through 


rs too belongs into a later period and another context/ 

njt is mentioned here becausebecause I had to^o söme thinkin<^ 

Dr.phil wanted to know jj 

he fether day when a Viennese 
^n interview hoa' J-'^^j^me to introduce th^ term acculturation into 
bigra-tion studies The anwer th^nT^Exilli, 

as a nationalist bias, 
public pressure in Germany has forced (the b^isically leftish) 
literary and historical young Germans of the 19 60s generation to 

depict political eexiiesas as the true patriots and represent= 

tative "theother GermanY", not as traitors to the fatherland 
in its battle for survival even undder that arch-criminal mur- 
erer Hitler and his henchmen. 1*11 have to say about this static 
condition of Exilforschung «s I met it in Germany in the 1960i" 
further on. 

(T urning points) .pt2 


bor der 

I arrived atthe Swiss bdegrthat night with a mere 

hal f -knowledge 
smattering of xbah^ks of the land and the people I tookrefuge 

with. The label police 


* ■ * 

in Switzr land affixed to me was 

Fremder - FRemdenpolizei was the Office that kept track of me. The original 


Huission ofthis piaixHxx poizei was tocontrol the flow of non-Swiss 
citzijpens, to limit their number and thez/jguality of their culture. "Ueberfr^ 



fremdung", excess numberxsfHfxHHHsx of aliensAmat eurisch pölice stistics 
dating to before World War I projected the increase of foreign residents t< 
to Sfl^gxx' haffof the population resi §ing in the Country by 1990 ! 

'[Wesensfremfl" - the belief that there was a"Swiss Wesen - Essence" , 

a cmmon "character" - natiomal character - among the probably most diverse 

populationlilivingon the smll terr itory of a country whose topography 

- Alpine mountain ranges -xpxHxxÖKdx had thrown up serious barrcbers to the 

movement of people, trade, or a common giHixKyx natijtoal policy. 




/U lU^'^'M 

qj^alified fpr admission to a university (or professional Fchool) 
and w«:e/granted stipen^ 


-N*.i. . ^ 

--T • 


norac«iey on their own . "" / j 600 other students ifi Swiss refugee 

canps, my paradoxical experience - being intemed in the freest country 

^^"f^ __o:f EuTOpe - iaad a bright light at 


never forgot thl«: party^^I had 



received a precious lesson 

. ^ Ahat had jolted my cr>nceits :the Eastem Jewish folk experiences of 

(I / irony, hunor, self-deprecation^Ydeflation, had been laced with ±kK warmth 

that^remClined invisible to thfe Gennan Jew ish prejiFSice^ Tt)/ Ration 

of others that were different was ultiiiately prejudicej| had met ^ fikh J±, ' 
'v^^cA^Jf my r2^^'^^^' ' ^^ "'^ 

]^_ r immigrant teÖD^F^päpite at the Jewish school in VTuerzburg; b#Ör^ ^ 
W^^ \\(kXrepeat^ ^^^p , 

childrenArRpyyswKgd t^a^r-^afents ' aiiiituauiLiLB und verbal insu;n:s, 

_^^ . r '^ ' ^ -^'- L 

" Gal ; ^i 

li-^VS "JffiP 

^...^-suB , 


uail I m ^ > u i n I I Ko^i^,^-!^ 

3 poacant) i ^ Üie mul fc iinaliQyi c 

M itolloGtual 


primarily of Eas(^m Jewish background from the::3^gra:L iQ i li-u a^t©^^ 

^Holland, Balgium and France, and I was grateful for the comfort I derived fj 

ieling, the sensitivity they wrapped into 

LJ^^^ tc M'^ r ^jY'^ 
^ / 

from their style of thought and 

irony ari3r~'se]/-depricattönT-^ ^^ <^ 

( ' JLx1>> 

^ j' K^3kU(T7 


I also never forgot thehappiness tliat overcaine me as the 

tr ain cliinbed up to the Loetschberg Tunnel and deecended in exhilarating 

•needle ^ . ^—-4 _-.-— — ^' — ^ M 

i^ curves and U-tums , switching fromslSeto sidemnKiT^^Yt reached 

lake Thun and rushed on to Bern. It majj well have been theheight the 
irrain had qained , or irry ejqDectations , fhrewell to collective life, 



a.^ (PI 




ixskxKEiKkHKtoaßfek entering a universiiy via 

,r y^'^ r-^~ <; ,1 


feausen prison and labor canp 

,the cadenzas of the Swiss German spoken 

around me that I barely understood or guessed. For the moment it was care- 

( sA \^ y ^^^^ vacations in the i 

r quess 
vacation OömiLLy of my yputhLray father in mountairi' 

'■ L- 1 . i^ ' c^ 1 ^ ' ^ 










-^ vv,gr i^ö^^ 

J^ ^^/ 


tfe^ I feit quite vulnerable in this J-irst 


encounter with an intemiatiOonal welfare bureaucracy \A*iile I awaited 
its effort to classify me - Student or poofessionnl Irintellectual 
refugee"?- and "process" rne under ^^5ei^' bmdget^. ifie sij^le bureaucafitic 
decisionvtooK an entire month to arrive at v*iile I was. tr^rig to control 
my iirpatience xk tkKxxxx^ amidsts the m^il F^tPlA^iJ i Ujjijji of niy labor canp; 
^ ' phe term I had been admitted- to.had begun in early Novembexy/ould they 
admit me that late ? How naive and insecure these first Steps were! Lotte y 

thank god^ remained unperturbed: she sbmv Fritz STr icti^tlie Dean of the 
Division of Philosophy One, Who may have londerstood tbe insecurity that seemed 


so little warranted ^ -^o qü ^\^q ■' ^s ense^laew^ withöilC ruIesL^ad a expertience 

Ä*^"rputine at w 
work I could trust. And it was of great help that the Geneva social worker I iheI 

I tried to accept that there lod a 

met on my first visit sensed how I feit and with 

irony began te make me 

get nervous 

wry humor and ^^^t warm 

abDut nnyself and how incongruous it was to 
after all we had gope through unscatfhed : -fehe funds 


inpnrf of pn 

refugess, she poinLed out, caine 



all from the SMTle^deep pockets of American Jewish communal charity. The 

dimensions of the bargsöpg catastropne,<^ehad been soKlucky to t^b^ 

. surpassed anythingy even Anner ican- Jewish ^A i iw^^-^ v^re able to cope with. She 
itvf ^^/JÄ^^^^*' ^^^ovA^v«^ /Pr . Silbersehein , 

er husb§ndThad*'reprd"^h5Öated Jewish non-govemjj^ental organiz r 
tions ©t the League if Nations in Geneva since the i(ate 19JfOs.. •. 

che iieöÄeiyta f imance t 


were yi-^en tne iieöÄ8|yt<y t^imance the studies of some 600 Jewish refugee stud- 
ents at SW4"ss universities wouldptle^porate like the p^rverbiik drop of water 



. v:;fed-^iot stone Ic^th^yemergency. • . 

\ r- 






garb in aphoto studio probably in the Bavarian Alps vJhere we used 

to vacai-fen in the inid-19«,our afeact fandl^^iRi^gafoin^^ 

jthen youth groups hikes and encanprients -*- I was 'fgSffy to fall in Ifive with 

'-Tr^ ^^ ibfinite vaasiöy/Df labdscape?, Q fe'^iiiaLöü p< 

, the rail lines and\^untINSgefSS that could be reahhed i^Kxaü fron the 

City I was now approaxhing;Bemer Oberland, Valais, Lake Geneva , Sils 

Maria, the Fextal, in the Company- of Bern friends Lotte and I were able to 

win and keep until life (set'us apart. 


SkHJfe I had selected the university of Bern and not the 

larger schools of Basel or Zuerichlbecause the town ,on a first short 

Visit between train connections , ^ feit bi~lingual to «a, solidly elegant/ 

Ol 'h^^/¥^ c"(>rc defined / 
* : - - 18th Century patrician house5*>^nprehensibly '/by its locgtion 

in a\bend of the Aare river that surro unded i±, on three sides 


^^ c) 



i)^(V/l»^''""^*' •" 

like a natural noat/ a-^^fölkafel^cityVgi:^ 


M * 

-ong streets v\^ose sidewlks 
arcades on':äie ground floors of iC^ buidldings. Was it a cosnpolitan 

Wurzburg that h«*-^iHpressed-{«e,a promise of harmony and peace, a library - 

that exuded elegance and meditation ? A coda after the chaos I had 

been through ? And I hadnot even realized that the university on a hill beyond 

the railroad Station vincannii^ly resesmbled the New Universiti|of/\rr^rh^et(ti©n fC 

in design and building materials tbat ]l wpuldliever en ter | . I guessedthat 

theyrhad been oonstructÄä at about the same period from similar modei \:^6o^h- 

A day or two 
For the next three years, Bern became the center of ray life. StexäHy after 

my arrival I moved out of the Hotel Blaues Kreuz, a house deßjicated to tfee '^"^''Y^ 

fight gainst alcoRolism and drunkenness in Switzer^d^ - I forgot v^o^ made 

the advance resrvation for the night or two J^eeäed-jefe - an/rented 'the 

room I sawi- in a villa* höusiöj two or three tenants near the / 







Feder al Arhhives in a 19th Century töargec^fe quarter, y^^^^^'^>-^ 

the Kirchenfeld. br^i»aigr I thought I could afford the rent^It/was rather 

f '' ' ^ ' -' n r . 1 

coldjbn the top f loor directly under the roof v*iose slant defined one 

siöe--ofe*±hed&los^ and did not (pjE^Mc^ the heat of the .othefcapaxtments. 

Since I spen^ itiost of my tgm4^..,jreg^R4n1,y, the^.dayr=tjji^ at 


the university oJ^in the library, and the evening^with Lotte v*io Ijad'"" 



a inaid-servapt^ ' s room in the^ouSashe was employed as aTH^baby nurse and 
naid 0linil 10 p/mA^ petcit %Durgeois code of the 

tiine considered visltfe extendig beyonind that hour as defÄnit^ly -iirurbral . . 

The next moming, still a 1^=®^ and overcas?:t day, I presei.ted 
myself to the Cantonal Police for the fonnalities, the customary police 
registraion, a full'page of rules for a "civil intemees on leave fron laborc| 
canp Sierre" . including travel restrictions (pKior inf omation to the 

precinct) , proper behavior - no politics that would daniage Swiss 


neutral^ty - regulation governing financial assets - to be tumed over to th 
the Ali^ Police ^ a controlled account oSt the v6lksbank (nebbich I thoughJ 

with tfcgperman Reichsmark / 3 5 0^3 5 / T had ibrntighjijin th mr) , and 

cxgai limst accepting any (even voluntay) onlplprient. I had to obser^^asecffTev/ ol 

- of lO ^p im^^ -^a l-id appear each Wednedday^^ in the precnct Office to sign an 

attendance sheet. M7 refugee "passport" includefi numerrfous laÄGBxfeacc 


v^iere m^rchapits would have to enter purchases of rationad food and 
clothing. A second visit at the Federal Alien Police Office - at the tiiiie 





located in a barrakk close to Aare in the fterzili district) yielded ,riOre 


i*\ !h- 

-'A 1 "• i^V (i\ ^ 


^ ¥ 

A> 4 stanpgjTEhfey had kllowed me one terra of study at the University (soon 


■" t 

to be extended indefinitely)^ and restricted my ri'ght to rent an apartment 

* r 

- war-time fewxRgmggyatxg; demands for housing had given the sw?len fedoril 
bureaucracy first choice.I would of course have slgnedanapthing they placed 
before me that moming: they-Jtu pL iie f lui ^ > walkito updEcTwß^fe^ _ 

^-«^aü^aieni?, the university a$^g^tj2a^ lo ^^ w/ft^"^; hy{j[ 

tu ht At^f^% 



\hl w.' 


^'m ^- 


l^s.Crivelli,y^|iiMiite-haired lady in the Dean 's Office, 
exactly vdiat I needed, calm, reason; reassu ra»!«? ; kindi^»§ . By non-time 

I left the building a 

mpi«fi i£ dirt-pDor acadmic Citizen/ lA 

rearing to make up f or all the time . lost to iSfe-^eonfosrons*^?" 

Y /ir\ V^ f\ K t ^^^i persecution. Equally reassuring was the(yoluteer| social worker 
''^ '' • . I »- --^ \^s^ o out 

Frau Nelly Bollag^ visit in t^fe@6e of f ice runded up my tour of 

duty in the aftemoonÄpiK Jewish congregation housed, as today, in a 

small unassuming comer building in, fittingly, Kalpellenstrasse 

not far fron the Bundeshaus, the parliament building . Lotte and I 


became friends wi 


inpeccable good will and enipathy, 

/ff fV^M-'t^O*! 

feicfa the bestj. of Jewish communal life 

ifested before trained Professionals inherited her tradition. Four 

and a readiness to serve 

mont^^is later, she honored us by serving as one of the two witnesses for 

our Are ^igipus wedding cerenrony conducted by rabbi Eugen Messinger, 

in his home - Mrs.Bollag had intrdnced me to hin| soon after my off ice 
rf^äo toucfiea ' ^^ two poles Üt tlrose V( 


years in Bern, the 



university and theJewish Gemeinderight on the first day. 

As to the niles of inter nment , i . e . those that did apply tq jriy /cGsStil 

condition, they clearly stenmed from the horse-and buggy days of police w 

work ^curfew^,travel restrictions,weekly JdiH.jiaAseete -G c raDQn ies- at the 

prcinct office,food rationing[ f or a single male staying out of a kitchen}/ 
^a landlady^ appreciated ity sugar ration/for makim marmalade ; I had no 

money for &uying suits etc,?cand no i£i^^ feQDc^acaxKi •• fiör ni ghtlife^, aB/Sjkx 

svmphonv ^ ^ «-^V^^/ 

concerts of the BerriCTyy örchestra.usually haä ended by ten p.m. The 

refuge^i;^ ^i/<aun g sbuerge r ■ . th^ ^eekly visitsyj tumed into banter, hkö 

the relaxed respect iÖ^iÄltuf e~ paid ^m academic achievement before 

it froze i/nto posisitions ksspaKä that defined Status inja still hier- 
archical System.: in^f^as^p^ 1945^ my prehistoty (ar|lch^logy) professor 
requested my release for assistance in an excavation project, in the fall 

\ » • 


(1 mi t 


study at SWiss academic institutions or vocati onal schools 

if they met adsmissison Standards, demonstrated financial abi lity. 

and affirmed that they would leave the country after tyey completed 
their studies or exhausted their means of support. I 

how the.^ gentleman-scholat Fritz Strich, the dean of the Philosophiose 
Faultaet I ( Humanities and Social Science Division), had xkEisHxgxKÄ^ 
KKjäKxxiaHdxKg: recommended my admission ttgj,hv»i ruaullT as early as 
November 1943 when the Fall term had begun.*Kith this in hand, 
I had applied for a scholarship to ^m^x^kk^^MSl^^iRx^Mx^Mii^iK 

Bx the Swiss brancxh of Cpomite INternaional pour des remfj 



yvW c^h/C^ ,; 4/ 


tuels'I<.i^^tx J^passef^ i^ion to the 


Federation Europ< 

pour secours aux etfu^i^nts^^^yte^^ in Geneva . Lotte visited Geneva 
from Lausanne before the camp had seen fit to issue me aOj^^o 


Geneva^ÄÄd four.d 

wj^ec^^^" » ^Ti 

^ -• 

■^ »" -•^' "^ 3 li/ii:::^" 


i ' r 

schein, exceptionalij knowledgeable about ..Mbrt wff=i^ep^rfeed 
Jewish conditlons in Shxmhhjc Berlin and in Gerraany:^ her 

:-Jme . ASi IbarrsEkHXj 

a-^ It« i ■ *'i.aa 

■ hu^banc 

d had 


^; .rrrjV'^'', - represented Jewish non-governmental organiJiTrolii ^ JuAngthi~tl^ulent 

' emergencies that had forced Jews to flee Eastern Europe andxJtssi 

1 > 

Nazi Germany. When the Student "Federation concluded from my Berlin 
record that my application WtH.f.-4bi_.da*^ .^^«rjpy thelsraelite 

Aid to Refugees in Zürich,/ she mediated a compromise tW^^iiB^p me X 

enrol for the current term, BXXX 1943/44. until the matter could be 

straeightened out. Aid to refugee students and to refug ees in general 

-»*« financed tnr-irhen to a considejrable extent by a« American- Jewish 

M ^..; ^ 4. -^- , , , ■ ■ ,,, „ v.-r. .^ -^ — - , , ■ ^ ■ ■ "~' i^roviaed 

-iLLAiLiuLiuii LumiiiiLL^y in addition to contr ibutions »jwi«xby Swiss 

Jewish organizations. ( The Swiss Federal government agencies and-/ 4^ 

cantonal i ■ n |-»^» , =ij„„-^i- /^ ,_ . »J' L — • 

allen police ( Fremd -^npolizeidirektorn) had 

linked the admission of Jewish refu 

gees to commitments by# swi 



Jewish communal organiuzations to pay the costs.(Note Picard 
364 - 385 for the facts and their political and international 
contlex|t) .Student grants were to cover "Hoerergebuehren" (students f 
feesl^armts the normally small tuition ^' 

charged by the government - 

(canton-)financed universit ies , Swiss studSntS were assessed a smal 

each term for tfce— vo£*^-=^Ff / / 

controibution t^G-i5^4a-^#<5^-}^H^f g the Geneva FederationxHHiskxicßXM. Since 

nad y . / 

^•>, Z-^^3i*nce World War^One 

it^.cared for foreign students f^cö« in Switzerland Coming from 

the developed and the deceloping parts of the world, it had of 

including .^allocations 
cßourse additional funding, presuygiab^ly %kR§ix^Rm fed'^^^aTxsiaMxiSÄS . J^ 

r the seco nd semes ter,the University's Bursar^ Office 

stopped listipng the tuition fees the Fakultaet had voted not 

to Charge me . Theyt amouhted to sfr 127.00 for the t 


eeght to ten courses 

wL_ßi- öi i P^ iv*^ 

V^ I took 

my doctoral dissertation in 1945/46. 

4 of 

six terms before b^ginning 

Altho^igh I was kept informed by Mme. Silberschein about 
the"purely technical" considerations delaying the deciision on 
the scholarship for Bern University , it made me N^erv^ui to know that 
classes went on week« after week while bureacrats debated budget- 
categories. After my experiences in Germany I had not expectedto 


be upsetb/ 


,^such trivia. was it pa|rt of «4 return to 



the s 




'de <?collective life affords 


1 " 

re intensely than just Oiy^,^ 

-f, a thought, a resolut ion p' was worJcing its way into my 

mind that would become clearar as it persisted. The war as still on, an 
and may beJDn^ for some time to com^the time of my life coincided with 

events I hoped to see 4« the** broader horizon, more 

clearly. As yet I did n|iot dare to face the fact that there may 

not be 

Community, Jews^ tTl^iat had carried and sustained 

me even as it U/a^ 


^li^lw^''-^ f <^| f'Jll' 

decimated .The older deporj^tees might not return .M^Tfather/KKS 
Lotte 's parents,my neighbors, but Grumach and Gross, my fellow s^tude 
dents, my friends,the many I had met and become ac /quaiiant^ a^^A 
during 3^ those yearsr surely they would be there just as Lotte and 

I a 

be pettyja agicifwith 

nd Lutz were still there^ |<ret(r wou^^ld never 

each other, ^petty dealings with each other, yr^7£ Tlu.Lyliei Myii^L;lü =M%-f. 

* ^ and, 

with ourselves, learn the value of timer^drx^worthwhile things. 

The t^ught came and went often when I feil asl eep ,when the landscl 

* (# 4/ 

scape I lived j^n coalsced into a momentary picture l"saw" 
and stoppedyifor a moment in my tracks. Was this a first l5Ki^x5Kxxis:Kx| 
b|reach of the defenses I had built up against the deaths I 
refused to accept ? 




i . (l\^J dr^t 'if 

When did I know and accept the fact that we 

^ bemg 



join the milliens of sil 


1u »K 



had been a halt 's breadth away f ro^ iKxMiigsx- murdered and 

ictimS^^-dHHkhxwe feit we^-^-fieedad 

ti^-öndiLiULLiiiia as an^Auftrag of history and memory? The obligatii 
ion not necessarily t o pile up the facts of their lives, 
but to make room in ours for the mourning we owed them ? 

As I think back tö the knowledge we h feä' ai % d Aaccept^ of their 
beä;i3f& mass murdered, Lite^ily no person in a Position -tö^i^ </ 

t nav€ 


been aware that this was not 

j "ordinary" Eastern European pogrom ÄXMHHyxHfxHsxhHJäxhHHHxx 





Xxk«x but an entirely new dimension of mass murder 

a new 

IssakxxaxxäsKzskx piaxtxKHrx e^-^Jewish-histcrrT»-, a new baradiam 
o* the Jewish presence in religion and politics / art and lite: 
rature ?I remember one public commemoration directed by Leopold 
Lindberg, the prominent director of the Zürich Schauspi]^ ---:r?. 
haus,held in Bern in the winter of 1945 - 1946, to which I had 
been asked to contributev Sn££feH£KxiB! our falien Irijgd-j iii..ll_..l„. 
Kf xHHXKiKgjfx : The Warsaw ghetto 2^x armed ^^xslaLy \ But I 



heard ho;;thing comparable at warld meetlmg of leders of Pro- 
gressive JUdaism, ihHXfiHKHrfHixxKfBixinxinBixHinKH^ Londo n hm in 

^natiSiwidf ^^^^' nothing ^aVy swiss Jewish ^^fei^ conven^tion 
, a^Zionist group,that woujd hint at the new centrality of this 

mass murder.. The leaders of the "Claims Conference" dickered amoi 

f " — , .._ 

themselve and with the Iseaeli/ representitmoF "~a"b6ut the fix 

distribution ofthe monies they^t XKKHixHd took in fr^m the saie 
of heirless Jewish property /'.m (P^^- inö.i,y , . - 








This past 


vacations:Sep;tember seemed the month most likely to 





give US \. 

I " %' 

888i fresh early fall days , JckgxSieiafeimoi^ningxKJiiii 


iKikifiXK^xxkjcxÄxbalmynoonsxxxxxandevening Chilis enough to 








we welcomed it.We had put up in an apartraent in Castagnola 


where they fixed the roads and had opped the föuses. the luxur}' 


the coda connected tothe notes before it and the 

The telephone stayed mute in its corner 
citatiions that f ollowed . July August had4 been hectic 


'.i y 

nw.^ ^^ 

had finished our English texts, putting in the last precisions 
the good young Germans in Berlinhad sent us, eager to help 


ith birth date s or house numbers that had faded from 

ftflt-. L\j^ ^^'"^^ ^" 


our memories. 
For many years, we had sought sure knwledge about 

p OtvhT to|t 

the constituent grief of ours lives, separately anmd in thge 


^C V^ U^C7>A^ 

ther nessxkXÄMgkixÄfcÄütxfcjc sixty years of marriage. Ee had 
hopedito know for sure would JsJciaxKX grow the final skin over 

^ > ^ iXy- o ! ; 

the w- ernrrd that had becme part of our awareness of ourselves 
in this World :KEXgK]äxxls:itisäxHH How did ou r parents die in the 
holocauist ? We were wrong. The truth was j?j5 gruesomewhen 

a Scholar repgrted o]f>ver the telephone what had been omtnoplrace 
commonplacg^infj^oymation '^her ever since she found it in a Ri| 


iga archive^^actuAand anesti/i/sized like a seminar paper. 





... ■ / 

from long cohabj(itation and repetition.i ^ad been wrpng. 

Sure knowledge of how they were murdered touched a depth 

., . _ ^ >K hardened 

tnat lay unneale d below the xkhx rissue whxxhh by years 

of probing.The new wound lay there all summer lomg.I feit 

it most when I had to sit thro ugh one of those ceremonies that 

politicians celebrate to cover up their gulty past, to 
apprpriate what dissenters ha(^ done agajLnst their w-i-lri 
and tneir often determined HKfciaHXK 


^ äU 

p irU c-ji^ 

Lojj and Claim it as 
The government of Israel had invited us to a 

ceremny in Bern, Switzerland to witness t heir awardin.- verbal 
rcognition to gentjl/i^qs helping Jewsin Wa ; r War II 
TH deep dishonezty on the part of almost everybody .!v t^^U^s^^^ 
involved in the ceremeonies lay onl two weeks in the past when I 

arriväd in Lugano. It taught me that t he tru th 



jcHMx^rsExhad not mad e me free . li^sens Lebensluegen . What I had^ 1 
learned that summer festered. For a while the usual worldwearines 
and the destoH|.r behind the sm^iile had suffered a crack. The 
mpuntains and the lake revealed almost no human being,only 
the little cars racing by let one presume that thiiye were driwn b" 
human being. 

The perf^t setti 






On June 13, 1943, in the middle of WORLD War II,, 
I crossed the frontier betweenNazi Germany and neutral 

Switzerland. The SaJpM a yi f rontiersman, a factory worker in a 

'önA ^i^ at the 

nearby German plant, had waited a ti t- h e s t Q t^ ^.on^^gj^.^ j^^g..^^^^i n we ^ad 

designated/; äj^ 5 o'clock p.m.No words were exchanged. He pushed 

his teicycle upthe street away from the Station, we followed i.i. 

him on the /other si de of t he street , keeping enmough 

diustanceto to let him escape if we would be trapped. We feit safe 

enough, the authentic but^ false identityy papers in our 

pockets had survived two gkxiSJiSiX pTofe^i^narl inspecations 

the . ho 

in iXQ trains we had to use to rech the f rontiif ^i^Mä^^en^'^a^Soay^^^^ 

Berlin whom / J 

earlier than theAfel low student/^i had taken alongceaS 

iden LIke me, he travelled on 
provided with the ±i£fiiKsa;x±Kax±dKntitry paper/ -.JlaSiciÄl'' «KRiiiRfi 

lA ,^^&^äi I yiju (i4^^!^^^^^he ministrv 


5i5$5?3lie^fii€Sx5?fi genuine f^o^s-^^s 

by a .ffl]^3=ar:=::üa2=i armamemnt /xxfeSi 

55l5f5^l$Ö5P®^^^^^ ^^n by Albert Speer, {jitler's favorite 
tec hnöcrat. XkKxxH±£±HssxßKXMÄHx i have äÄXÄXifcÄ^xHisKxkHxsxx 
iÄxikÄx^iXÄJixKÄltfcxÄixitfeiÄxXÄKÄJSJ^x celebrated the men and women, German 
and Swiss, Jewish and Christian, le fti sts and liberal, who had 
made our survival in the Berlin Jewish anderer ound 

andour escape ac ross the frontier r^^^^.'v.!^ I 

.r . ^ . ^ I^o amount of ri^ 9 a i^ 

-^iWiUjiUSi^cynicism New York style ^^KK^^j^ 

gXftÄ5?iSie MS MMSxÄKÄXxitJiSx tHMiskxKaiixsHxixJfcksxxx must be allowed to 
soll the courage ofthese men and women who had taken extreme risks 
, even unto death, to help snatch some victims of the Nazi machine 

from certain death. 








impatient and irritable, and locked his'j^ain and his anxieties 
abut relatives and frie nds into his/own private depth. My comrades 
were not necessarily well educate^,^ neither in the Jewish 
religious tradition not in termS of forpeS^K schooling in their 

countries of origÄln Eastern Euj^'öpe nor in their Western European 

^ ^ 1^7 U/ \ /^ ^O ^^\^ ~\ 

l \\ t-" \*^ <^o^iciles,,^heir parentj" had lived the lives of ß^^ immigrant 

)W ^ or Shopkeepers ^ ^ _. ^^ ^___ 

V /^tVl\t^ worgiers^and had little acg^s^to TTTgU^-gducation. This Swiss labor c 

camp| WAS the first place clever ^lived in close daily contac t 

^ 4 he l^ \]^-^ f 
with the children of Jew^^-froiru Eastern Eu^ropean countries - «^füite 

\^^ Z.J iea/n"ed to di;:^f f erentiateÄ^^^&e /were passing throug 


\ th 

the f irsjL^stages of cciritact with Western Euro pean Jews ( and ej^ 
in many cases, i >^ ßt , fV^^^'^^ ^ WxJ^ v,^ c ^v, v,t^.W /„i 

met the/jif irst GermariJ^feW" ft^m close)range ijarr^^ur mu 

e i^t i-OÄS 

l V'^V^.ll-'] \ 

f a 


in the cajÄp) . Q»r rm^t-iiüsi^ 4^ silence;/and 's^mpathy lef t me with 
the greatest respeot for the emotional finesse and sophistication 
that was shaping their response to our common catastrophe^ and their 
rejationship to mö?. ffias our parerjits xenophobia^la petty and 
\\\^km I iiLilJL/z^ denial of the best in our Jewish heritage ? 

My internment in . Sierre 1: abor c amp lasted l 
about four months^^lo^y enough to experience the quality of its 

life, too Short to/ishare the tension and discontent that was rf^ 

/-^ \ n \ n ^WSB^ T hdd h@@n 1 TnT ¥? ^^^** *'*'^'^*p^ -^^vf I 

S^cWi i< «(//^ybuidling up among my f ellow-internees . MXxJt«ÄÄ*iÄll8xi5ÄxteÄJtÄgx»ikÄÄÄ^x>| 


^^^^^ ^^u^ , and tetai^Ä a ^^'^d"^ 

r.<23\Y> p ,'\ ÄHi^ÄxgSiÄÄRxÄMxÄ military quarantine campii for *iaÄx::eiaflXÄtxsix weeks 

' lafter entering the country as a fugitive 


low Mkm held in a "labor camp" foran additional four fcnths 

as a "c 

ivilain intV 



t^ie federal FRemdenpolizei (Alien 





ble^^ai^ locked his 


about relatives and ffrmendsinto his own private depth 


neither in 

Tfeti^v/vwere not necessaarily well eductjc 

^äEKTxkkx Jewish matters nor in general formal schooling. 
At first, we found little in common to talk about. As 
\.Uxtime went on, I began to appreciate their emotional sophist- 
icHJcBiiH ication: they too had to find a response to cur 
common catastrophe,as yet only vaguely understood in its 

dimensions. It became known that I would help 

with writing lettersiand filling out forms to authorities ^ 

remote .rKiiBixESXJj jjj^siness connections , 

often iust addresses of L)l. i j il i. i ir organizations7~aT]rwith one 
ifcfjHSKx purpose - to obtain release from the camp, to J^ "O 
given leave to return to private life and regain mobility. 
Most internees soon iöäsgö't ^^that'tl 

that-'^ey had been saved from 

deportatiön by being admitted to the SWiss haven. The discipline 
of jckÄ c^amp ;ife,ttie indefinite time of confinement (until the 

end of the war..), the Separation from family and relatives, 
the loss of the creature comfortsjof urban lives they(like me) had 
bKKHXHSKiäxtKix been forced to exchange with the harsh minimalism 
of a semi-mij(4.tary barrack confinement - it would have been 

cause for rebellion even if we had not been "processed;;^^ 

tl«eiMi-the SWisS' 

systemj- in many cases conf inxHioHäxto 

six , ,| 

a prison, generally followed by five to siseeks of qya^a|l:ntine 

in a military setting. 

My own perspective shared the general discontent 
although I wqas able to benefit from a turn in SWiss policies: 
Once I had been sttled down for a week er two in camp Sierre, 

I quickly feit gr •§ 




i-- (1 

On tlie positive side, tlie reporfc included an overiew of 
:he .^^evelopment of SWiss pol^J^ towards asylum seekers 

from tlie labe 1890son, and offered sufficienfc data on tlie 
movement of persecutees through tlie country to justify tlie 
sense of tlie political Community tliat in comparisson witli otlier 

countries of refuge |Switzerland liad made a real contribution to 

Nazi victims / — ■ — — 

helping to lielp tliemsselves Ludwig also dHKMMSHicKMxxx 

t^ 4^A ' iL i 

touclied upon tlie vigorous reporting in tlie press limited, as it 

was, by military Tul-e^'^ef ining sec recy , and documented tlie 

, , . .in public opiniuon and in parliament 

SiaüixKsaxiskxRg open criticism of government policies and of tlie ' 

. . =v . . . . cropping up 

openiy anti^Jewisli attitudes and 8»)jfti| A^iJx i n MiAsgxJcHigSxH^iä 

^^ tlie at times gratingiy crude language of leading bureaucrats 

( 1 v</ 

V on Swiss as well as alien Jews. in I9^y^ , a member of pari i amen t ^op-^ 

s liad to gua. 

against_JU:lie- opined on tlie floor of ^Li^s^liouse tliat every Swiss liad to guard 

/antisemi-te wjtliin The report Jias been augmen'ted by 

liimself; ' ^ 

(^Ludwig > 


seif -assertion 

Scholar Jy and literary wriJiXRgsxtreatments of tlie period, mOst 

recently by Jacqu es Picard's KKJapxKkKKKXKK e^ploration of 

Jewish sources and perspectives XKxaMiäxJtiHHXx for a a kraaMxxxx 

comprehensive if HKKaKXßiKÄity at times angry critical appraisal 

focussed on blie politics and finances of SMxxxxjiiiixIxKXXxKltfcxfciiäas 

and tlie aKkixxkiKx of tiie 

^5ö#ä¥axgx$:(jg minuscule Jewisli Community in SWS«IS«¥¥X«a in thejtx 

context of its ambivalent minority Status. 

^ yy \\\ VV\ a*^ 'A C U ^ '^ 




\\\ b 






^'^''^;77''" //fß 

/^ » 

Ä(/\W>^'I '" 

Ereignis j ^ ) ^\ 

having become ^eay^had carried me through the several degrees 
of confinement and internment. Now, an equally unbejievable turn 
of cirumstances]pot under my contröl catapulted me - an d 



I Co 



6 00 other lucky pa nnilQ&& refmgees - ii^to fetudsaie at 

ÜTHrver^sities or i^ccupational traini^ i-nstit^rtes ( FaoPrscTiu 
flrefty/in the countrv v/ith one of the h "igest reputationaa-s' 

the edmcational leader of Europe. We remained of course 

"oji leave from labor camp'/V' and 

civi} internees. 

signed ple^dges'^'atef'fe^^^rf^g^SWiss ''^pol/cies on the admission 
of ref 1/geesy : aimed mainly at economic and pOitical controls 
and preventing refugees (and refugee studeit^s) from seeking 
permanent settlement in the country (if money ran out 

with a dggree) 

^^ fe'^y "^"^r hi ^ g-hnrli ^Q or 

r ^ r 

t I 

Different from American Colleges and univör^ities, SWiss 
scHoolyof higher learning - like other continent^systems - 

3:rhe st^ 

were traditionally controlled by: 

ate (cantons) 


7^ students had to grovide housing and' 

upkeep privately, there were no dormitories ifi universities ^ 
(jlearly a more democratic System than-^the privately endowed 
and financed elite institutions I would become familiär with 
later ^C in the United States. Jewish students, the maj^rity 
^f the sixhundred refugeesenrolled from 1942/43 on, were funded| 
at that timepy scholarship funds or by the Ts^lreelitiSsche ' 

Swiss Jews 

J-ingshilf e . at least initial ly^jiiHÄi "^e merely 20, 


funds for the 

30,000 refugees 

they Hssxs±HHsä had pT.romised their government to assist 

if they would be permitedcto stay 



fC fc^- 


// i^A^ 


with wljom I ai^js;e^ a room in hhx the lake-\ide inn that served as head 
quarters. IVan and I shared a passion for swimming^irF the clear lake, 
and found personal and moral qualities in each other that became 

the foundation of a fr iendship for many years afterwards. THe Bern 

r. \ as a tutor 

arhaeology professor Otto Tschumi had bween employedh i by the Tolstoi 

family ( No relatives of LSonnTolstois — his grandfather had been 

the director of the Ermitage in St .Petersburg before the Russian 

Revolution) , Ivan -had escaped German consciption for forced labor 

in Paris in 1941/1942, xHHäx He immigrated to the USA after the war 

with the help of the Philadephia Barnes family who had employed hm a 

as a tutor. ^ had a fine career -fföi marine geologist at tfee I 

Columbis University's Lamont oBservatory on the Hudson riverJour 

connection 7 ^y \^ 

unusual xeiHJkiHKshxpx lasted for quite some years in the uSA lafcer on' 

I believe it bridged the wide cultural gap between the Russian emigre 

gre'es son and the 

Jewish liberal ft:sifi on the way out of 

a very antique parochial culture with the mutual respect we had for 
physical courage disj^layed by the other, no doubt an adolescent 
moral absolutism and a thorough sense (ß<ßr the ironies of our lives 
and the comforts of comradeship. 







own reaction to being interned in 
work camp SIerre was shaped by my narrow escape from 
Nazi Germany, my background in sports and youth mofcvements, * ' 
mx fascination with Swiss pulure and landscapes, by my Äcyc 
G ^ . # ) ---V^'f * -"fiör Lotte* ^ u^d-^by Lüii iy Vqivyun the opportunity by— SWi&s 
' ^ 1 eg i-siataon - to XKSHKiifxsxHäxK's.^ 

1" : n 





K II V Lt^^vuuj 

a university,.'Äiike 


my fellow internees, I bridled-at theknnoyances and the 
primitive conditions of this semi-mijtary camp, but 
tO!B^^5=a^^&s the tensions building up from many incidents 



t of the timeL in the stif f-upper-lip trsdition 
of my u|)pbringing. One^ quick-tempered outburstll rememberi 

, . fcwo ., . .^ ^ 


months into my camp-time^happened during cur 


morning toilet in "teJa-e more than inadequate washroom - a^pifee 

"'Sr^owtroughlinto which fema4)^ holes had been W©red to relea^e 
^ trickle of wateftfhe fellow internee whom 1 fei^»^'^''totariy 

iidlLiun and wJaff calmed me dOwn/ that morni: 

k(— _ 

irrationally f-^ 

close_ / [ 
would become the only lastTrTg^ f rieria I was able to make in camp, 

0'\\q^\a/9^ '' ' ^''^ German I 

h3Q±jQi3t:sP^^^^Ti!r9k'te^^ BtH^K attomey general from ai town nea 

the swiss frontier (Loerrach) who may have volunteered to 

spend some of his internment time in HMXXHHSKüiKäxxKü 

Sierre to Eganize leisure time activitie^~r ^ t p mfn j r havo bo «^ one 

of the gentlest men I ever mert - philösophical and detached 

from cur common fate in contrast to my gro\^ng spite and 

beginn i£kg hatred of what had been done to our Community and my 

family. How could he be^ so saintly when wexneeded fighters 

to contain the brr^own floo^jr eS-.=Ha=zi&jft ? Did his 

inthe GermanArmy r€each him nothing abomt the wickednessof man y 

that muderous animal ? Arthur would remain ^ model for - tamtiii ^ 

for many years, our mutual sympathy undiminished by 










»MX differences in character that had bsH^i^b us t^gether tkst 
in thatdreary washrom in the Rhone Valley. 

It would be easy to draw up a list of annoyances that 

' ' ♦ j.« ••— *• 



^KHHKdx penetrated our regimented daily routines. My - f e 1 1 -ow— ärrrbemees 

were confined tO M|j r camp iaia for an indefinite time, until the 

W5 ' >' 

end of the war and until tä^y '^wuld be able to return home or move 

on to another country.TfeÄy had to admit to febe»selves a4f»n^aSl9>»er 

that unless ^ey had close reltives living in a Swiss canton 

ti^3? would l^f interned for the duration BifxikKxwHÄX.SWiss rules 

/Vtl>v q 089 do 

prescribed that ^isy could not seek gainful emo^ment, or evenAVolunteer 

iHX work for a good cause. Tlteir internment in effect isolated tfeaiaik;^ 

froniBociety and Community. Ti^Mrr own Jewish Community appear^^ 

to have forgotten thd8$n after they had -%{ji^ droppe^-^off in ISB^ C^ 

c amEr^---DTirrrig the entire period of my internment in camp Sierre, 

oriGe-x an 
we were visited onlA by ßJHK ^(orthodox) rabbi from the FRench- /Q^^vwiu, 

aking part of the countryl r^üTI was HXKrSrKxiiäiXr^iHlp^z^a^r-^^^ ' 
l4ftr after an Kour or two. The leisure time activities I was 

f • 

elected by the camp/to organnize ^after Arthur Eijishemer left- IHf 

U7^T^ -i-oo -Fotat ^r^(={ cr^o-h-hw +-r^ rriav^ =\p^di f f er ence in the mood ^^ 4-iJ-^i^ 

J discussion groups>i|TTeBrew ilassv some ihusic rrri I i1 : nui, ^Ptu nunaiiLiLi 

te O ^Ufe ~~0¥» a a - f Q W p.i vivir» - w 4^=wLT no ye^ci' ^z^A 




4^ C 


^ (\^>y y>^^ "i J^' 



^u>i^^ j-^^J 

/ )?/2' 


'Xa CM>^ A C^ o^'^m 


he "Canton had al'ttiEady iaiaxKiHHyxäKWSX granted asylum to 
too many Jews on its soll and, by law, could only admit 
petitioners demonstrating close family relations/wifch legally 
admitted residents" , the "Alien Police Office" in Lausanne 

ad wr&tten Mi T-b^ l "^ "^Ii^^g g^jt Ludwig 's Swiss lawyer i^ 

Wilhelm Abegg in Zuerich on February 10, 1943. The 

best Statistical informatipn eme(|^ing in the. 1990s 

on the number of+Jews seeking asylum ^ against the properly 

g in the, 1990; 




perceived deäthA point^d to about 3 4,000 Jews denied 

admission or returned across the frontier. even after they had 
turned themselves in to the policeron the advice of orqanizations 
caring for refugees. I do not know if'" Louis and Johanna Schloss 
had been included in thisxKgMkHbiKxestimate whcSse oj?ig^ETr-^^iti;i 
reputable Swiss scholarsy will make it paitft of SWiss war-time 
history. Lotte and I ( and a friend I had talfen along) also had 
been warned by a well-placed SwIsSa of rici^al in Berlin about.--- 




the danger of being apprehended too close, tt> the fron^fier 
and returned forthwith to Nazi Germany , , but by June 1943 

lad/been cruietl 

Swiss policy ön granting Jews asyltum had/Deen qu 


softened in response to public protests. It had been enforced 
at Western and Southern Stretches of the frontier whelT^ 
insufficient cant/onal police forceä feit swamped and threatened 
bythe sudden arrival of thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing 
deportation in Holland. Belgiumiand France in tBe^Spring of 1942* 
the Nazi occupiers beginn to arrest thousands of Jews in 

these countries and intern them in camps before sending thein to 
their death in Eastern EXurope. Thousands fled towards the swi5 




f rentier in a unique clandestine trfek through Western Europe, 
helped by Jewish and Christian social Service organmizations 
, international|aid agencies, /childrerif^shomes, orphanages, 

boarding school, trade unioa' 

mountain villages se^ttled 



partiesVeven whole 
Protestanty/ descended 

7 ^ 




trom HuguenotsvAt the end. of this undergroundjtaijroad waited 

/"> ■ 

tiornnen to guide the fugitives to or across the frontier 



bis wide-E, 

■ • 

probably the larg^gjgst 



\'{ . 


SWiss frontier police and its directorate in Bern. f ailed to 
under stand the grass-roots character of the^i movement . The police 
aoci"!Ffcüd their inability to stop this flow of persecuted humanity 
/^to/paid "Schleppers" , i.e. their usual CHHHJkKxgaxix adversaries 



they\smugglers,and e:tfessed their frustration and disdain forthe 

\f\\( ^^^ y^tX ^^ / in 


a routine police 

vvNeHK W/n cxH c,iSo'\ ""regionj 

matter i^lthough blit^y v\\\ \m\A<\ .rtn=rb» residents of the SWiss frontier 

'^t^f'hl,? Vi.t 

/engaged in massive protests against the. repatriation of 

/ 'l 



Ji M^ ' 


refugeees into the hands of German customs and police officials. n 

One report cited in a government "white paper" ~of the 195 0s ( the '| 

Ludwig-Bericht) be li^v e d that tte^ German adggty- pcL«6fgHiiul --serving 

as occupiersxHi the French-Swiss fr-ontier area ijhilu Lhe / 

!; t^^^jL-> 4 u üv/ard^ Üiu rr u iiLiei weiiL u i^ --^"lnust"Tave -bbserved the fi^it^fet 

of the fiMtives towards the SWiss frontier, a total of about 

ftiJ &^^^^^^^ (45.000 to 50,000 men, women and childrenv iffestimates and official 

statistics can be trusted. OHi c/i/^ ^'1 J ^ ' 

._, Of course I had no knowledge of the policies and the 
larger contexts in which we moved across the frontier. The German- 

Ih ' 


tion for stoetenlr boursa ^f ter Lotte! and I had visited 

*/ Silbersdiein . ^ ., ^. 

Mtie^ sxHKä ^ for the f irst tune m her Geneva Office, , we began to 

share her 

irjTiony about te highways and byways of ^ gfu^aucracies - 
the iiioney^^y>|MiBiy- cCtne Eöom the same deep pockeUAnierican-Jewish 
cahrities for ai ta refugees. .It was te^first step away fron the paradox 
of our Situation, ^ l ' ondind - in priäbipranai 1nt-f?ytiTwef\t in thb freest country in 


war-tiiTie continental Europe. 

\ t 

^. 1 







,, -^l'^ 

\ i MCM 

iVUt^a- c-Mc.j'^^'n 


< I 



/ /" 0^ (^ 

Our roots, of course, were of a different kind, and at 

' iH^^ 

Vt9^^ ' / "° "^^"»^ ^i^ we fcliintk of staying permanently in Switzerland- 


, ''ß - 



Tr n jl V'lP^.'» "^''^ " ocl)sclmle4, But T failed to seek tlie advice , 1/ 

t^xmio^'j |°* •'^'^ ^^^^^ °^ tl'e fiTTöt^^lraft^^Faculty of THeology andJ made 

' wrong clioices in ray program. T ended up witli seven lecture 

courses s&t&K&iixk^ and one seminar (Tlie B(pok of Judges in tlie 

all given by Of*ci /O ^ i f c y^^ cü ^ 

Old Testament jyxiJik Professor Haller, a^4aQafc=*i^ *h liistory of 

religion ,**ta^ T ^«39 found tlie Old Testament nresentat ionq 
Y(7j\l^lVl^^t^»^ ßO^^ Piesentations 

-^evüiaV-o-r-TUoettt-Tesearch or i^ n d o^j oa d o n4^ analysis - it was easy 

to tJ««- qWs«P»€ Ge'rman t. 

to trace tlie lecturer's erudition t 

Bibelkriti k. f^istory of Religion 

"7- ^ßon ic 


ad^ lacked the excitpmpnf- i t- /-.^»^' ■■r^,,^'g — y^ 


f litfs t i a mv GycG , aÄd lacked the exe 
ll,^/" r-?^^n^«^=]fTiQ^u b io IM ir n D cl ^ in . , XkKxxxxsfHiiiß:aMKKxxKaxxh«xxx 



-tlie JLSKiciijcsxjtÄ snide 

W»^^^ ', Vv^«"^^^'^^'^'®^^^^" cies MxlikxKÜXKk tlie lecturer inserted into liis 

i ^^f ^' 

presentations # 

/H ^öH^ r' 00 OS 
d44— 110 Ulli iuu L u 


^ ^ ^v»'^^ /^+^tl'rl^J inspi 

. . ^did not axHB 

^ pld-f asliioned anti-Jewisli i 

^- arou& e mV iti te r esi; ^ 

**^ yiie deeturex^e persona/lity 

- .1 

tiRNr failfx^to tett^^ *ts exi«*«rt4^i*fc_b^*4CÄi reliqious experience 
did not speak to me. Pro fessor Hai 1er mkk • s Wissenschaft des 
Christentums w^ qo no e quivaleuL tu the Wissenschaft des Judentums 
ki«xK«KD!ixMxsQii«^M«xx-^ .J^e liad studiedVith ^--rmnn mrr-rr i, iMiiuifiiJ" 
J\I^\J Testament scholars in Goe ttingen iam«^' inte llectual light yei^ars b 
before I had en rolled in his courses. ^-^ ad pi - Gbabl v'^s^ -^r-h.^.t-.^ 

""2 vei'^^ ■'•''*/ ***/■ "tHe wron ~y )' >\ 5/ v ^ tTöi ' , 

•)l/\' m1^ a^k<.<_ , 

r^\ö^^ «I 


Tlie last: entry in my rollbook bearing Professor 

Haller's signature dates from tlie Fall term of 1944/45. 

By Marcli 1945, T admitted failure i n my attempt to linltmy Hp>c}i- 

liist:ory of religion witli wliat 

. Maybe 


«Tr pf Platitüde 

T liad to recognize as uninspired teXtlD^oo" 


the pastor was more a man of the church than an apostle of 

(^aoxlvL— — ^ his ageing 

his faith? Maybe h&ctpedl\iith ^3?»KiK^xöX^ - he was probabiy 

^ ^ „ , . ^^^ took f utile rÄifefefe^e'^ai/ 'father Chronos 

close to Leo Baeck's age - by resortmgx^jo verbal aggressionsi 

Äühiajägh I had taken to listening to ■:^rotestant sermons on 
our little radio on Sunday mornings and had gained a quite 


positive impressions of the pastoral and humanistic outreach they 
conveyed, far from some tfäf&SSiS^ seif -torment/^I ha 


ad heard in 


Germany. Surely th is was not the best the department could 
..... /yt^(/\.ov^ / ] ^iji^^cj*! 

iieia in tä .-Chi itf Liütp cult/ureS as intense and a different^iated as 
Swiss/ ' ^^ 

rcil^nism or Reform ? i ^ould have to cons^truct m own lines of 
continuity. ^- — -^ 



























THus, aa far 4s Jewish studies at the university wenisr^ I 

» i< 

had indeed Ubee« exilea. I had ehQüon thiü univ o r r. ity vith ^>%»t 
investigatPE© if lectures that bore idetsintical namee - say 


r^M, . iL t^, ly'/ of books of the Bible - had anything but t^wut title in c 



n T(^«^ bl^^*S '>ftfSlt w^as my good fortune that soon after arriving ^*R$t foggy 

on a 

A. \ 

^ U *<2^ ^ tf y/l2< Vi '/fji 

drizzly December day in Bern I 

two communities ikxi 


I could relate to in my own wayTr/ I paid a first visit to the 

Israelitische Kultus 

f j»3fae±itiS(£he + kift±tisgemeinde Bern ia after a morning of duty calls 

at the Cantonal and Federal Police Offices to register my 

arrival and get t±E^ s tamps in my ref ugeee passport that ee^^tri^ie^ 


my/lsojourn for six months :passport holder is allowed ( darf) 

to enrol for the Wintersemester of 1943/44 in the PhilosophpJ,.sche. 

Fakul/taet der_Universitaet Bern: Alien Police Section^(^ ^e 

=Division . -^^- . 

Federal Police ■ Di!i]j^i"lmout^ &€ tfee Federal JustiVQe- and POlice 

Department. THree months later the permit was extended "until 

further notice". I received stamps to obtain cards for ration^ed f 

foodr-the' furnidhesd rooms ( no apartments) ]^^^^^?^s ^ll'üV^^ l:;o- 

re^n-b-==i^bi:Be_g^,,_Qj: on:r3;öng^r leaves -öt'-^afcrtsiSiiee , receipt«' for 

"textile Coupons^' ( allocation of rationed shoes or clothing^ 

etc.) Xküs ^Keriigred i n my civic Status y^ Zivil interniert er 

, perfectly-matter-of-factly - I walked over to the Synagoge 

Ka j>pellenstrasse 6 to register with its Fluechtllinqshilf e ^a 1 

fei" an unexpectedly warm and cordial irre^&-fei7F§rs«-^ its volunteer 

director, Nellie Bollag. We would not need counselling or social 

assistance during our stay in Bern \)^\ VJC O/li^Ccl %^ 


A'K^a (W^^^'j^ \^^^ 

^ h U^J^^ ^ 


BERN UNIVERSITY, December 1 19 43 to Ssptember 6, 1946. 

On December 1, 1943 J I entered free Switzerland, 

I H 

free for the first time in my life,from the incubus of 
defamation and persecution in Nazi Germany. I had come to 
Switzerland five months aar lier^, from slavery to freedom 
as the biblical phrase had it for my external 
circumstanceS/ from anarchy^to |>rioson , military quarantine, 
J W/ Vv?i'o^^"c< ^ and labor camp/'^the psychological reality clashing with the 


r c/öJ 




g^vernment's threat to life^eslin Germany .'Vt the : '' ' \T.l' 
internment regimes the Swiss imposed on me when I arrived 
pennyless^ and ' ' - 


e54 "schuften 

los" , lacking the civic identity a fügitive bMXKHMKXHÜK 
and homeless Jew needs to justify his existence in bureau- 

cratic system^^ 

I had beenxisiseuphoric about saving my life, about 

evading the tense momemnts when secret . police ( and SS' with 

carbines at the ready) in German trains might have discovered 

^it whose 

whö \ .really was whKHxihsyxKXHKixKKäxhxs identity card 

jjnowed himx as a minfeterial pf ficial of the powerful Speer 

Armament mi inistry in Berlin^ -fc«rboyiÄlaii^ triumphant whe n 

a friend of mine - Lutz Ehrlich - and I sneaked thrpugh 

the chinks of their frontier guard System that moonlit 


happy to meet Lotte alive again^my BKxixHxiaxx 

love and friend in war-time Berlin for nearly four^KHXsx 

years o^ survival amidst total destruction. . 
Thfit deeply ph^Jiöai- Sg«^^^g¥^5^^^ joy, the unbe/ievable 



o AW/^^ji^ 


, - - ,, ^ xxpxbut 

sunnay days I had always feit as most invigrating, and a 
petfect travel day from camp Sierre to Bern . I f^nd an empty 
train compartment and soon huiamed, thensang my way through the 
breathtaking landsacpe. swi: tching from window jto window as ^ 



^\\v^^^d^ ^'' {^^ V^^ ^ ^^ ^ 

Vl'<iA^ yyvjud 


we w€H*nd up thqvalley towards the tunnel. Bern 

mith ^ 

a foggy afternoon, damp, gray, the humidity 


penet/artin g, the light summer clothing that had served me so 

well in the rT^3::©öiily Rhone Valley .Nothing could dampen my 

sense of adventure^ ^vM^^ww^i^yv-gBayv t w^g - ^-^Fn-iM \i\ }^m wv^^^u^ r ^ 

■ffbper'covered sidewalk thi^obba^ with wnm^nniw.j: ^i i n j ii i liiij iiji i 

windoy, ready for bJa^M-r^-^ITn^ f P Wl'"n L tj c h u l Äüd their friends. I feil in 

love with my own feelings. Evrjrt^ing seemed carefree^^ cheef^t^rful , 

this was to be my Switzerland, I had graduated from prison cell 
to ijiiiitary camp to the collecyvity of regimented labor and 


b'^ ' ^» 

.11 discipline. The Rules the/ipolice precinct handed me 
registered"^^ did 'restrict myfreedom, above all by fö^^^bidding 
BAß to work for a living or even doing volunteerwork. They jürijoiiiyj ni^ 

[VJt ^ 

• IJp turn over my possessions to a state-controlled bank.They imposed 
strict-sounding travel restrictions unlesss-^sanctioned by a ^police 
permit,prescribed a 10 p.m.'curfew, and e jlij.,i.i i iw mT nT^ S Tm b^oml^ ^^^ 
^;^ive:iE2±xt±c*i=iy cfHÖ compromise the strict neutrality that the 
country relied on for its international re.lations. 


I had to appear in person to sign a police blotter for internees. 



, b AO'^cI/c^ 





December 1^ 19 43,1 had been one of those perfect Sxxixbut 

sunnay days I had always feit as most invigrating, and a 


petfect travel day from camp Sierre to Bern . I fijind an empty 
train compartment and soon hummed, thensang my way through the 
breathtaking landsacpe^ swi: tching from window to window as ^ 
we w^«Ttd up thevalley towards the tunnel. Bern r ^coiVtird .mä.th ^ 
a foggy afternoon, damp, gray, the humidity -«=^=^''*' ======---^======---. 

penetartin g the light summer clothing that had served me so 
well in the ri?iöjaiily Rhone valley .NothSng could dampen my 
sense of adventure^ IxKHKxxgH^yxfiaxx^I was-^-frr^H to he iuy^er^pjrf , 



'covered sidewalk 


rbbbad with womenolk> 


window; ready for \ 

^h^* Äjo.d their friends. I feil in 


love with my own feelings. Evryt^ing seemed carefree)^^ cheefejlk^rf ul , 
this was to be my Switzerland, I had graduated from prison cell 
to ijiiiitary camp to the colleo^vity of regimented labor and 



handed me 


11 discipline. The Rules the/(police precinct 
when I registered"^^ did 'restrict myfreedom, above all by fö^^^bidding ^ 
n^ €o work for a living or even doing volunteerwork.They janjoli^yj. ni^ 

\)ß> turn over my possessions to a state-controlled bank.They imposed 


strict-sounding travel restrictions unlesss^sanctioned by a ipolice 

•K ^ in (f>'y^ . >f ^Qf b^A^Ov^ , jA^^.tJi ^ A'l^/fiy 

permit,prescribed a 10 p.m.curfew, and i hiji ' 1 1— i im Ti fiiii ] ii i ^i nn iiLij 'v 
ajcitJ^v^--^giT^^"rr!;=a=3^^ aiFd: compromise the strict neutrality that the 

country relied on for its international re lations. ^iwcaaiiEj^ ^i'llIl 

I had to appear in person to sign a police blotter fÖE internees. 




• every Rednesdy afternoon a-t the precinct Office of the 

Cantonal Police 

i/ ^lcgc4^ jthe police used 

model to define our role, "civilian internee on leave from 
lT±is labor camj Üntil ti^€< studies were competed or the money 
ran outL.")i had fled for mv life, / uninvited, and I did not 
question their rules, "^rtaste for rowdy or subversive polical 

/ ^4/. 

T/ng nnn nigi i I rn]^ 


excluded from the sociability ^^f thie tightly in-group minded 

Population meant no loss, it somehow tickled a remnant of 


youtJi-moveinent contrariety that I was probabbly the poorest 

U «^ 
among the ^^ocqr outS(>ders whoyiappeared on the marriage gegistry] 

of the Canton Bern cjn March 

when Lotte and I married before 

a lovably archaic Beamter in a lovably archaic ceremony in a 
beautifully appointed 18th-century room of the Civil Registry 
of the f Canton Bern. Until we emigrated to the United *«/tates 
in September /Octobr 19 46^ +h^^^ars our hc^neymoon lorclliestra 
by the culture and the natural beauties we became familiär wil-h 
(h "OUR" Switzerland . roughly enclosed iha triangle prmed by 

Bern, Lake Geneva, the Rhcbne Valley the Engadin^the Fex^| 

tal, memories of numerous vacations points like the Riederalp, Pont 

^e.sifHa^tausanne,and numerous -nrmpirr hi]-r- and railroas trips/^ 

by ourselves, with fr-iend^fbm manypointjof 


wcnr±ö^^Ra?ep3«s like us ^f similar tastes andfsensibilities, ^.;':4/.Jkc^^--' 
our Q4rr'"learning to come to grips with the destruction 

that lived on in our memory and bond^ed us (in anTfl rifii f i 

.below the surface;a continuo^Srfen^^a^y ^o'u's'^' "^ »^ 

'^ ms tarn- 


C '' ^ 


One o5 i^e nost enjoyable 

useS/l made 

history l of f ered at the City Co.i iege of New York 

"^^"■^a Significant hi^torical 

Dr .Kern 's 4^ /itü »^ tA^ 



)' docuinent^demonstrating tteirsensitivity för-fbiifi,and language of a chosen 

period. As I think now of my training in Bern, I am nost grateful for the 

solid craf tmanship ond ferecisioi\the relatively few instructors that nade up 

the history fo^lt^ yisxäx presentedscfaaxMg in the short time of five Semesters 

et cia$$röcin work.^p^ two intensive xgxaiHXMixHsxHHXHsxsisikHi suitimers ^ >Lß^ 

at an archaeologicl excavation of a neolithic lakedÄling (in part built on 
stilts, ^ahlbaustylö) at Lake Burgaeschi , near thetrontier^pf the cantons of 
/^H< -ll I/l ./ U ^"^ ^^ Solothum. The actual diggin^in the klatively thSlai^^r holding^^ 

^•J[> the arti^factsj^was done by about^twp dozen Italien military -CTs^tJig »«^ xHfcEuxmmHES 


'^üi^LM,«'''^^^®^^^^ ^° '^^^ crossed the l€lian-Swiss f rentier after the fall 6 

>t(!>ccu.^of Mussolini in l^y 1943. Supervision was provided by a SWiss foreman of 
qIi',vT/ä ^ , ^ ..SchQlar]^^_diregtiQn.jwasJ.n jü^ hands of/ t/T . 

/ some xzia^H^ cibtage)Prof .TscEuitd,a museum director from Solothum, 4w©-^=eeefit }j\ 

^ phds- fium Zuuiidi with~experiäice in eKcs^vectie^i^^^täs^al highsfecdol teachers/ 

^ the eable /y / r 

v^o had dugifeö area previously and were extremely knowa§dgafaiKxfe/ö*e ' '^ 

afchaeology ^- oi-±he-rsgicWl nyself^^^ ^ i IjaglM i1j ly studentj < Lmtz Ehrlich v^om I 

'?reviousl\yfre was a geologifet and physicist "^ noving 

tecteai[ir" 3- hacl"Ti 

Lnto oceanography , and h 
to Germany as a " 

/\ French 



irooms (bohouse the efitire 

Jd f led Paris v*ien the Occupiers wanted to ship him 

icrtel did not have enough 

breign worker." since the h( 
staffle shared room^r^e suimier unexpectedly 

ide close li;^ong fri4ids beteen Ivan 



me - unexpectedly because Ivan 
^ I^p^ficially andlculturally seemed very different in our per^nali- 
and og course our babkgrounds . ^ 








The most enjoyable lectures«rs Professor Frditz Strich's, series on 

the relations of German literature to world literatte since Goethe" 

which I took for relaxation^ Strich's quiet voice, his civilized 

delivery, ,xh±x subtle develofement of his thought.the subject matter 

calling up the gap between th:^ atmosphere of crude self-assertion 

the greatest 
and cultural chauvinism and a period where ax^xsHi German KiHSsiKxx:kx 

wxijfeHXx writer was a t hom^ in the univsxese of European civilization. 

KxyKHxäkiKx^x A year later, I would treatmyself to another course 

byenby Fritz Strich dealing with the period of naturalism and expressio: 

nism in German literature,, similray civilized, similarly subtle, 

conveying a similarly almost unreal sense of a world im balance in the 
Germany where they 

KHHHixyKKKixyxfchat would have killed me if theyr would have 

gotten me. . . 




. • .Qn^ December 9, 1932, My/ Zeugnisheft also recorded the first ' 

/ / ^ 

encounter with Professor/Werner Naef who for better or woree would 

/ ■ ■ / // 

becomd my major teacher/and Interpreter jaxfor the chaos that we 

^ / / ^ 

call modern and contemporary EDuropean history/ 


'/ .r 

03/30/2001 13:95 



PAGE 05 

by the Federal Fremdenpolizei (Alien PoSce, Bern) as a "refugei" (Fluechfling). Those caught near 
ttie frontier might be returned focthwith to the countr/ from which they had crossed irtto 


I n 19 42/ 194 3 , about 1^,000 fugitives. pfimarily Jewish, had been reiurned by 
Swiss authorities across the frontier. We did not know at the time that a dose friend of ours, a 

young Berlin kindergarten teacher, and her German guide had been caught after crossing the 

fW/ -10 Avwx ^V^ Ih^a fr«. 
Swiss-Alsafian frontier at night and returned to Germany» They were arrested and sent to 

concentration camps. Qciy^a» returned after 1 945 to teil Neritory^n another instance, a French- 
Jewish couple that had been persuaded to surrender to authorities after hiding out in^Bern^ IßM» 
cemetery were deported fronr» the center of Swiss territory. They too died in camps in Eastem 
Europe. In some areas, the Swiss population living near the frontiers protested against the 
deportatlon of fugitives by the Swiss police. A report on Swiss refugee poHcies prepared but an 
"Independent Expert CommissJon" establlshed in the 1990s describes the sadistic treatment and 
deportation at the hands of a police official of Jewish refugees in the Canton of Geneva in 1 942/43, 
He was brought to trial and sentenced to a jail term. 

Our Swiss frlends and advisors, Lotte's relatives living in Lausanne and a friend of theirs, serving 
as a delegate of the International Comniittee of the Red Gross in Berlin were aware that we might 
be returned to Germany If we virere stopped toc dose to the frontier. A regulation fssued in August 
- September 1942 denying Jewish fugitives asylum was still in force modified only for "hardship' 
cases. Swiss officiäs had panicked, espedally in cantons where the pressure of Jewish refugees 
had been greatest:;the Jura, Geneva, the Valais. still it depended on individual judgements whether 
to admit a fugitive or send him back. 

An American Jewish charity - the Joint Jewish Distribution Conrmittee - had been 
permitted to overcome wartinne government concerns that US charity dollars mighl support the Axis 
wj»--eflort and transfer funds tbr persecuted Jews to Switzerland. Some of these funds were 










From nearlty eve ry pAint f vi 

, then /Lotte and I 

/^ f% spent three years in Switzerland that we remembered as filled 

I with ü^HXÄHÄ haßpiness of our young marriage and the S^lf^8^i^^^li| 

-C/v^ jH^ C^ ^j^^ of /intellectual horiz ons, the beauti- es of XhmxXx 

^ th^cifeies and 

■~SViss|\landscapes we feit especially close to,the museums and 

concerts, even the ^xiMsxJ&XHMxMEiiiyxHiad AmericarijÄ ^ English 

or French films we had been excIUj^luded from seeing in Nazi Germa 

^^"^Y ' v^e were of course as poor as church mice, as the phr ase 
goes,living on a Student scholarship designed to keep your nose 
to thelgrindstone and the rest of you out of trouble. But then, 

the Community we related to d/uring tljose years, the stu dents 

the thej/icr^ S 

and^ref ugee Community , the rabbi ,xHHr / pröf essional^S 


r. : ^ 


• * 

. "^ 

that became our f riends,the professor or two we met privately, 
the social workersiboth Jewish and Protestant^ They made a Sport 


ÄMfc Of being and appearing 

\J Wi^S'^U v>^ '--v 

in their s tyle ofj 

\ • 


\ n 

/Vt »■ 



t ( 

life, their ambitions, that esse quam videri born out of centriesj 
of small rewards and hard work against economic hardships. 


-fc« — si&fflo d ^ t a i - 1 s o f*< H n i 


f or 

It may w^ll be that Lotte and me the personal 
fulfilment of having prevailed, as ourv dis tance increased from tj 

'tK^ly.escapes granted us beyond oblr deserts .anoT^rotected by the 

^ o / 

infrmational limbo between our Berlin experiences and the 


SSSSxSiSMxfacts of the mass murder slowly gl$l{2:^«^^Xlf^xSii^|jx 

falling into a gestalt that has^ traumat ized the post-war 

World - 


on to the fading hope 

for sanity over lunacy, the life-giving Illusion that turned out 
to be a^^t; ^ ^Hj ki^S^ a ^^ ^' ^'^ ^ oia^d a^ \ vuU 








Realpolitik , security , def ence , the 


1 charactef (das Wesen 

iM C^C^^^^^l^^ontra "wesensfremde Elemente") and by a variety of economic 

J linterests that had l^»:^:. 

\ /) 'i \ys^ \Aa^'^' o ^ 

financia j_r 3itH i e g^ with the Nazi System while holding 

Swiss foreiqn tradft a nd 

'. its own against the po litical_ threat posed by-/ii<^ f>^' 
totaitarian'systems for the democratic way of lite.. 

I recognized that the "lederal Alien Police" had 
been infetiticbonalized at a moment in European history when 
\\ { C*^ it^beceme^fash|ionable to find national identity *n the^purity 

( \iU^ i i 


ife,^the mountain peasant and the shephard boy/ 

neti l>£ '"LhTti ;ß^^tien' agaSnst the 
decadence of modern life and the city. The Fremdenpolizei 
undersbod itself consistently as the guardian of a folkloristic^ 
ally defined.:;pijjjiFi| l^jii^ - das Schweizer Wesen, often indistinguishab 
le from Erdnch ÄÄd/cerman blood-and-soil speculations . all this 

at a moment in Eulropean demography when 

b iggc r 

Industries demanded open frontiers to attract foreign labor~ancrj 
^..^ intellectual innovationisocial and economic realitiesclashed 

j , T:ne nostaigic Images spreacL by / 1^^ I p©«»tr-i 


(j\jm ^^ !' tourist industrj^^at home and abroad. By its cultural origina 

-^ ü 1^ the romantic m^^ode- of the ta»» of the ^th Century, the FRemden 

ju 1 

polizei - or at least aomit \9£ the documencts in SWiss archives 

produced by^leadmg officials- had embraced a patriotic misiion 

that placed it to the right of the ideological spectrum of 

Swiss political life; ever since a preposterous misr^eading of 

Swiss statisti-s /) uivHttttJl / 

Immigration s^ä^x^üks c^roiiö^ed- ±Ei±i^yi±n!^r±n a^'^reporc by th 

Politisches Department ( Foreign Office) to 4^^ f> t>^^ c^Uoi /fI 

^ o^y 

had r'projected an increase of fore 

i g iyna*«rrra^ o^n 







CA C^ V-^ 


j to 50 % of the Population by 1990 ( a classical and elementary 

L p><^-/^jy 

yCC )' irti ^liAcz^c^ C/Uf 


error7in politically inspired demographic discussions ) 
(Ludw. 57 f) l kKxpEiikiixK^lp^omantic nationalism had begun 



appear in documents oridnating with the police depart- , 

menfes and. protocols of ifSdch f ederal-cantonal näelibuieiLLunj 

on aliens. The federal police a ^^ Lcmp-fc ^d- to control the 

practice of municipalit ies and cantoias to award cantonal 

residenee( and Swiss citizenship) toporeign petitioners 

whose tax assessments promised to increase local 

for acquirin^ Swiss citi^en]3hip :.was "einkaufen" , buy into 

citizenship) . That this national " essentiaism" was as 

Nazi-style ^ 

et free of ylracism of a biological kind einer ge# from the 

r ei iM LiJ ^s 'cotained in a^ rrfr - j ^e jiril i'e nQLrüh tfp.the Ministers' 

Coundil ( Bundesrat) of May 30 19B:4 "betreffend Massnahmen 

gegen Ueberfremdung . V Since the federal government was re- 

fetricted in its actions by international treaties with fottn- 

tries K'hKxe Swiss had migrat;ced to in some numbers before 

1914, the Politisches Department ( Foreign Office) recommen- 

ded speeding up naturalization procedures and XHirjadMKXXHg 

^forcing aliens toacquire Swiss citizenship (Ludgw.57) 

I believe that some of this pre-1914 ihxHkxHg cantonal and 

municipal interest in alieni/tax FRANKEN survived even the 

harsher climate of federal bureaucratization that arrived in 

the wAKE OF THE First World |^ar, the unempoloymenet in the COu: 


country between the wars . and the Rise of f ascist-style 

^ // ;^ l/fl/C groups in Switzerland ^fter 1933. Amusingly enough,xxi I 

T^' . I \ e »f vir il' I^gf -fl^-^ yn-f -- if^ar pf ^^^ 

'lll Ly\^^^■^^/^^ ^ET WITH UP^uririg VsrcationS"llT^FlTioirntain village long 

Pc^aJ tüc/f '^'^'^ after the end 

\\ .A ^^ *^^(\ 

WorirdWar II: 


Our landlordibecame good frie^ds 


with US oversfeVeral summers as his tenants and 
often celebräted ourgood friendship wni-his v ^lBye^huitie 
aow" tti p-mountam or in th^ chalet 2000 m up with the 
tradityi^ conviviumpver melted local cheesey|and white wine# 
^^fter a few summers/ the landladg and her daughter, katiä^warki 
a hard-working family just emerj^ging frfom the endemic 


poverty of our nountain region, even accepted an invitation jsSr 

for a week or two in New York.A summer or two later^we)EÄeiW 

Man official invitation to become cit(|zens of thehamlet whose 

ki^master he had been for some years -"it would cost you 

dinner and 

only a MEsi and a round with ourvgäunfeeer fire department. 

It would have hurt his feelings if we//pointed out to t 

hard it would have been for them 2 decades earlier to 



ly in the 

the.'New, YHork Professor, his A summer guest, and his fami 

camp, near the river... ßutas so frequently during those 

unique yec^ars in SWitzerland , we met in respect and sympathy 
for each other, becaue we recognized that we faced our so very 

aag elec^cHixKEirkHr ian tendj$q,^is flock ofK^patis^HEK 



taking care of hisxch^t Jthe HHlJ^^^l^iiltKäli^^had built on a 

I takinq care of kisxch,^fet l 

tpurist spotinear the cable aar tb^uh-fc ^ , nn„ . ji , ■ ,, ^, Ui^ttouricLg 

and holding a full-time Job with thegeHera3k!arx-',elec^£ic compant/ 

that had builtJtkK generators into the recently regulated ']^«^^ 

river passing trhough his village. 


/ All of this of course was far ^nto our post-war Swiss 
^ future/ but it illstrates the conflicts between the ideoloqical 



conjured up the spectre of aliens flooding Switzerland until 

tne nardbves would be reduced ^^ ^ mere 50 % of the 


Population rsiain^xxHxJfchHXKHHKfcryxbyxiaaO, , 




s during those ^ years 

.lüi^^ / 

currents that shaptdi Swiss 

and the hostility that was implied in the Police^ unfilerstanding of 
their 'mission.I i^^s^EXSfcDod the historic cicumstances only after 



a report to the Swiss parliament, the-. Nationalrat, appeared ina trade 

\j ^ duinc' a vacat 

Isxxx in 19 6 6 

nt, tne^ Nationairat, appeared ma tr 
wi^ €:n 1\ bGoamo — aware of- ito oxictonco 


dudinc- a vacation visitxöKJ "" ^li a ip## li i .j « q i: e in Bern. Switzerland 

had become per^pheral to my hj-s^te^^ c wwk after I had settled 
in the üSAand began to teaj|(ch one offthe ttraditional survey 
courses on EDuropean history. In 1958, I had begun to collect 

laterials dealing with social Service age^cies that had aided 


refugees in SWitzerland dyrmbg World War II, but soon recogb nized 

4 V,' 

that theSwiss refugee stj^lc)ry would not lead ine to thwhat I 

_^__5^OT^^j/fiistoric event, / 
soon saw as the historic^^center of /\ the destructiOn of th German- 


Jewish coitimunity and ihHX exkh?ixxbiä ^SKHgEix hisiHxyxa^ their emigrat 


/*/ »* 5/ <l 

and ftesettle^eßiment^ in new communitiesxafaxHx i 


in Europe and overseas. 

One peculir feature of the archival aspects of this prject 

stayed with me, though.^long after I had turned away from research 

on the topic.;There would be two occasipns at which Swiss archival 

r^sources on Swiss policies toards eyE^p^seü^ from Nazi Germany(9H'd (:?r<,i',r^ 

mred - i -n pubüe, at&ä either occasion \^^ created not by 

a systemtic SWiss drive ^to set the record straight . but by references 
in d&ocuments publisheq'by the Allies following 1945 concerning ^ ^ 
to Swiss asylum policife's following the German conquest of Austria7 

andj in the 1990SyWhen the probity of Swiss dealings with deposits 

in Swiss ban(faks -fe*^ by holocsut victims became an internetional 

issue^x "^lÄd persuaded theBern archivbal authoriies to open their 



ives to 

"committees of international experts" investigating 

Swiss policies towards refugees that the federal government had 

Q \fi)\S-^ at 

esatsblished . 

in mak^ng the documen- 


tary records avai^äbley was - and is - of course not confined 

to these cases: in 1946. Professor Werner Naef, my Doktorvater 

at Bern University and a prOtäg!©»iB4; ofi- Ranfeean document-based 

scholarship '' above politics and interests-f servingf/^HET* 

ty V\^cj\ V)-^^^ OoW^^ (Bundesrat Etter) ''^ 

truth had eounÄeil^d /the Coundil of Ministers Kto consider 

^%.Ähy^publiiication'Aon '^TMwsjLtß^ pubiic ofeinion 

ßubj-ic ofe, 

the effect 

unlessÄan explanatory interpreta^ion gg^irt/l^ perspectiveXi 
The Council followed his advice/and commissisoned |$.dgar pC? ^M ^^^ 
'Su/\^5 ^^'''^' **^^^^^ ^ Basle history professorj^ÖK) produce^ iiirs coprehenaive 
(XjcVa/^*^ 4 vuluiw i "History of Swiss l^eutrality" . (19 - 19 ) 

/ / When I requested access to my own "refugee-f ile" in the 1990s 

n (Ji ^' 

1/ I 1 was given a slim volume of my correspondence with the 

Ali^ Police, bgginning with the "protocol d' arrestation" 

fAl/ed out by the frontier policeman who had first stopped 



that nght . and similar "official" material .The file did not 


ar^opy" f ^ deposition' in ßhaf £f fhausen prisonlwhi/i<iad been 

asked to sign for the inerrogator, Of f icerBruetsch-Maeder . 

I suggestedj that it may have been depositedin a war-time intelli- 

gence file under my name or the name of Ludwig Schoenbberg 

of whom I knew that hehad been wcrkÄö ^ 


th a swiss intelligegnce 

officer ( "D«r. Keller" ) : His private correspondence of the 
war-yeqars which was turned over to me after this death by his 
widoV/ Lotte 's aunt in Lausannein the 19 8 0siHaiMK!ä/ included ^ '^ 
a copy of a report on his (and a German Courier 's) attempl* 
toidentify shipments of gold bar«3*s brought through the 

diplomatic mail from Germany to Switzerland .As I hd exfeected. 

my requesto see those files was turned aside, this department 
being reorg|n|aized and/noiaccessible at the moment^^ 

W ^^ 


ideven /^Y some reputations have been 

Since the end of the yar^the taboos of SWiss war-time 
policiies even in military matters have been replaced 
by a new gKHKxaüsHxiaÄopenness, and the country and its leaders have 

not all been the worse for 

„ O 

dented and some " 

This of course, is very much a result of generatio- 

nal changes and the changed införmation Situation that came w^bh 

first with the defeat of the totalitrians and the end of 

the cold war. And not all of it^ was voluntary on the part of 

the relatively circums cribed politcal elite or elites:German, French 

or American and English publications would reveal Swiss involvements 

unknown or hidden to 
in relationships cHHKKaiKäxfaK^HrK the Swiss public and embarrassing 

4 C? ^l^(^ ^h€^ troX V_M. A U O^J 

m retr^ospect . Most of the news broke after I had left 

the country and my attention had shifted to th 
Atlanj^tic perspecvcfave j^ New York. 




Seized by a flush of emotions that/for weeks i>^.;:;;;ee«fte would 
\ ^ ^ ... .\(L^i yO remain hiyh.and tiiat that \/puld KKxixxi^Mi:fciSxiRÄXßxR> ^^^9e<i£MQ^- 

'^ >^\e.\(L^i AJ 

I ^ /r\ /r\ 1 i i'\ , - d :^ 1^ mi K , _ CT üJ J, J-_ S O 


^88AÄftäiSx«liftkiixSXÄi{X8Jck^5lic»ii -my 



(7Y / y 

the peojjte^and'-ttrtr 

^ . countu/ that "was there " so that we could save ourselves, I 

i^ridAt^U / ^ embraced him 

embracea mm : -f . . ^ ^ -: ., 

i-fcXÄÄÄ«MJ^Ä$ixKXfiÄM i^k^- "ti^i s 3«XÄXx:a^KdKKÄX is 

» Si/itzerland?) adding Friedrich' s formula that we were 




\fij ou^X^ 

fu^itives from Nazi Germany and "if youAsend us back, you 
\(^\% ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^ shoot US on the spot." iftxicS^kl^MS^ftl!^^^^^^«^^^«^^^^^^^ 
^^"^ i«$xkiHSii*ÄkXÄltÄxJ^^^^ his head: "flie SWiss don't shoot 

that Fast." Did he blush at the thought - he was v^uite ^ / 

younc,, his body lancjuaye sugcjested trhcr±r- RßjiMiR^ixXÄÄxxMXi^k&ii.AiJ^fiRix: 

preposterous to him. Then he walkec us awaay 

X. L. 

' X 


from the frontier through the for^^sTlto 



the detail he belonged to. They cffered us coffee 


and relaxed friendliness^until f the local police man arrivc 
t0 picK US Ui^ and tako us to his ^Üli^S ^PO^r^e 's saort ^^.roto 

U C- -^ co^ of our "arrestation"." After a few hours of sleci^ in his 

i\ ri 




. w wi un i m ii Wii 



loi ^ 

- .,^. CK /) ^^ä|!j^^ 

-^ soemewhat dila*ji^iöated cell he took us to tefe^^ 1: r aij;^ |b Station 



en) and transferrea us by train to the cantona ; Ix^^xrsnxxx 

MAAiM^^V\^ Uav/1' ^^ ^,^^ ^^^^, ^^ Schaff hausen. Our gui de had failed to place us 
^^ '0 take US away from q 

a path that would ksi|5XMXxi]axkÄxat!a$ijCÄäxiH the immdiate vicinit 

\ I r\¥ 

of the SW--^is3 frontier into the "interior" o^ the country. It added 

IM I III II »■ 1 »• 


i up to a fine irony:^For seven months, I had lived the anarchjc lif 

* j*a.. i ,. v '" 

of the homeless and h u nted in the most oppressive crirninal rec,im 

*-* r- — -> i\ * ~' "^iii^-jzxLaptjjrge^ 

of o ur time, The margin that separated me f r om\kkxxu±& and 

I. . 




sent to alikely dea thwas paperthin^anxiety and maximum 

L 1» wo^^-> ^ 'JL^L w^ i^ -.^.^imum distance 

the -n-fr r fflfr ?4^ arij>und me ; mra^^'^^'^ 





in Switzerland during the n ext three yearsrK and 






beyondc as if 

^ /i 




like beiny ftMl^MSÖ ^Y ^ medievale tov^n f^om ^ 









triannle /u'dlin^JLre^o 

— >— — — ^ / 

i-n-§> captivated by the landscape 

*" ' ■■ .■■■ - -» 

iüern, Lausanne, Lake Geneva, thexrkHKi 


Rhone Valley, Brieg 8iJ|MllMMlllllllllill*l^lllcWke Engadin,the Oberrhein 


() ff^ 


for quite a^fhile hk^ 



e regulär r-^ommer Visits 

from New York, elation kb^Ixk^ku^x^xk^x over rernembered serenities 
reliving a past that h ad becme present. 




Clearly, refugee life in Bern was placid ati-i 

^|/V;*''Private,devoid of tlie acrimonies and quarreis reporfced aif^t >|^|-fm 
otlier Centers of refugee was as if tlie studiedly laid-back 
style in whicli public aFFairs were conducted in tjie capitalof ; 

/ if"' -- -r- I . V ^Q^'^'="i^ V'i;,gLLLiJM. — -^ "Tkx V» vv ' ■ *; 

'*"<^./pvi i/»"- /SWj t zör 1 andern d^attrpted risiMgaissx af§r^^9:5b^ tan t ia lly dedicated 


itzörland had^ attracted rKiiigHHsx a/'äroupTs 

Ipervice in clmrclies and welfare organ' izations. 

to s 


tjb/iiyc^(^^ y\work(wlien permits were grantedl and.alDove al l^\i)repaV^S^)4T«w5 for tlie 
V. t,V n^' '^ frontiers would i i j » »'! üjl o pen and re-migrationl possible . 

Among stuä ents and tlie young, ideological battles would at tiraes 



erupt around issues like Zionisra, Communism or Social ism - never 
JIli /(M^f^ about religion, rarely about tlie 

I . i«"^ I future of .> Germanv ■wli o«q dofon) 

of t he THird Re . icliTod»ir- tlie 





It appears bliafc 

most refmgees lived isolated from wliat: would liave been their 

peers m Swiss soci^ty, Most re^^*e* were m^x and lived of/ the 


fc up by Lliuii iuliyluu& 

alssi]|ist:ance of %i»ö w 

g-^errps^ political organizations^ aj-ftmt^ donominatio^ 

" i£ ^/U\(^Mcoo prestiae 

a a^ja r^ i^ G^j feufe fcliere were k® extreme^» o^^ in occupatonal/AÄMIitM or 

economic sfcatus^|tliey did^ not)seem to e^^e^e conspicoousjM^. cut off 
from public activity . ^äö tended to bec— ^^1-- 

/ r«^ utiiiutsu i.u oecome (^' consumerf of newspaper 


and peri o dicals, the cinema , tlieater , and concerts , and laclc 

ways in wliicli to translate'ttGohviction into^^^ction . Words lia^=H50 substi 

tute^/for action;tAtouri£>ttf witliout tours to go on ,anj^ witTio^^*- — u. , . .__ 


r 1^ 

» I t « «>» 


k , 

. l 

♦ i 


\ CT'- \ r 

J^ Ois) VHC^|]L«*/ • 






by Swiss war;-time policies towards Nazi Gerraany . AS far as I know, 


. . f•«..^ ^ ' tU^^ swiss goyernment:-: . , . , ^^ ^ , , ^. ^ ^ 

s f 0/^ y^ SKxiJXKrxaKä did not publisli the documents - or a selection of do- 


cummntscomparable to tliose issued by tlie US government . Tlie Internat 

ional Military Tribunal sitting in Nureraberg from 

1945 on 


in contrast/ presented tlie scliolarly world witli an unprecedented 
overeabundance of documentation on Gewrman liistory and politics, 
witli botli positive and negative effects for liistori c interpretat ion 
Maxix:i:HrHigHX}aH±iKyxxas IN a more metliodical fasliion, an Allied 

Commissisn of academic experts used tlie nearly unprecedented opport 

of Germany • s uncondit ional surrender 

tunityN tö begin a mul ti-volume publication of "Documents on 

/\ -- ( Seri es D) 

GermanForeigbn Policy, 1933-1945" .Tlie reccords of tlie German 

Foerign Office ( Willielm sbrasse) had been turned over tlio tlie 

Wstern Allies in accordance witli tlie armistice agreement. THey 

proved a rieh vein of sources for key questions of contemporary 

liistory . 

The Swiss Foreötn Office ( Politisches Department ) 

Sxii^KsriaHäxxkjaax in very different circumstandcesxSSxS ^^"^^ 

, representing a CSy^^^i^\j 

and non-bell igerent^^aKd KSBT^Rra^S^^^^sxsxxKMSHix considered iKXK±Ng:x 


publshing government documents on its war-time policies/, apparemnt^ 

of tliepublic 
lyf^io^ng tliat it would calm the emotions directed against Swiss 


'^^war-time relations witli Ncazi Germany 

■^ »* 

f too. 


Tlie Swiss Fpreign Office ( Politisches Departmen t) , in tlie Fal 
1945, ^f<MHS iirffgbtag ^/by ä pari iamentary Interpol latiQ n(Members ' 
Question) to simi larjy break througli traditional archival 



sec retiveness and document "JtkÄxxaxxiXMÄ political and military 

dangers Switzerland had to cop^e witli during the war." I discovered 

tliis liitherto unkown fact xkJSRxxxxKxsxKpaxKM onjy in 1995 in 

connection witli tliis section of my Memoirs in a bialiraphy of 

Werner Naef , the Ordinarius for "Allgeeine Geschichte "(Modern 







We feit numbed by the ' KHHXKyKßt "r^cuyiixirton ^he conveyed almost 
as matter-of fact post-war German opinion that what we had / 
thought of as unorganized outbreak o§ pogromsj had in reality been 
the plannia and organize d mass murder of our people. The perlet-/ 
rator government and people admitted xxs dedäs-. 


M^ ' 'ii ^ c w 

numerically small 
If Europe had produced a paradigm of what a ß uiman laii g ua gc ^. 

bsGSS* cultrtre was able to contribute to her great tradition 

tu l?l^H ^ 

of humanity* not ncocoGarily inLellecLüa Jr ^r artistdc- 
p&issss^^ to shaping society and civlization »fxxxjckKx for the 
multinational and mulrifcultural future HixikKxSisikxsKK^Mxyxxxx 
that-4iad--t^--foi-to^^FHft»2£^eseeent into the wbrst .y.nhuin^>ylt.y 

ih |W -^ l^«<^5 

kfiown — to-4tea?— histo^^^- surely my expereineces and what I was 
able to understddd of the tradition and the life i was 
privileged to share for three years appeared to justify loy 
KXMbHXHKi my respect and my hopes for the best I saw in 
the SWiss tradition. 

In the 1920s, wi$h the League of Nations residing i 
in Gef:ieva, multi-lingual Switzerland tjad become the paradign /i>T 


what a war-weary KSHlHHHHJfe continent could accomplish if its people 

learned to puttheir bloody quarreis aside. 

j ?i/'CLV^a aJ|)^ } HAM'^' \Mii 




I : 

rs V 


A number of documents originating wijith xsxBxaixisxKisxBf 

'^ \# 

the Swiss police onxtkjs cantonal and t^e' f ederal level^ 
^\ J/^ suggests that bureaucratic resentment had been i 

Spilling over into overt anti-Jewish spite and turned again^t 
fugitives seeking asylum: the Geneva cantonal police nrjftnrl i«nt8> 

^'^increased ^ef f iciency" (brutality ) when it feit overwfOß^^ 

med by 

^^e large number of refugees to be processed. Similarly, .^jfeäXÄiiy 

a report by fed4eral police officials iefeef 

tfe«^ ÜMS^r^officials i rF^^ffaftS^i ^Mr^r|-Tri^ t^t^^o swamped by th6''""^shjeer^ 



ch Rothmund, the (sub-ministerial) director of the 

^ l^ of/1 äpplicants and'^prevented'from discharging their normal 

y !/'''•'' ^duties". Heinri. 

• vV*'' "^ Federal 
/V,M'<^''*" FEXHixPolice for Aliens (dubbed "the policeman" by his internationa]| 

colleagues) ( Lu.p ) transcended the law-and-order thinking 

drilled into policemen everywhere only doccasionally and in weird i 


ways : he. r t^por - ted^ ör> 

at the f rentier during an inspection tour, (. 

;r***) ,airdL^ Council "pass a decree cjosing 

the Swffiss frontier tofr Jewish fugitives^siijee they were not politi 

5^ vüPth a^refugee child he 


UeC^ --^c^: 



rerugees but had been perseceuted merejy for "racial reasons". 

, (, ' Since the Council did not meet between ÄnfHsi 29 and 

pn=^/4, 1942, Rothmund procured a/ptaesi<fialüeschluss CT 


Executive directive^ after his superiir7rET^75B~§Teiger had 


mcrease o 





(cl-Lci^ hl 


aedie±p=-r5Y "poofessional 

Schlepper "/(s) (UEC , 1999, p. 93 f.). Rothmund's panic reaction - if 




it was that = occurred inl J-he /f^^.of a «toternal report adxisiH^x 
ti^aix 3ub»±-(rbe^ Lv nis Apc:,>i,d- in--coinmand and legal advxsor Robi'J 
Jezler en July 30, 1942 - a few days before theclosing the fror 


(y\M 0^ I Ja c\/w^ ß^ 

When we stepped on Swiss soll thal night! we had been 




a rned ÄJtxÄüxxÄÄÄiiÄ a g a i n s t being stopped by t?ustom or 

/^ü II 1^0 fro3n:t?ier guards near the b order. In October 1939, a Bundes- 

rat decision (S^ggJiiiXS Council of Ministers) had authorized 

the cantons 9(states) to reiurS^^u^i!ivis^w?thout proper 

permits or identif ication^ across the front iers they had 

come from. The deecision had been kept secret ajiiL was hjö-e#e^ 

generally nijJot heeded.The Alien Police (Federal Fremdenpolizei) 

interned persOns seeking asylum with plausible cause. With the 

onset of the round~up of Jews for deportations in the Spring 

of 1942 , however , and the dramatic increase of refugees seeking 

to gain"illegal entry" to the SWiss haven,The Swiss authorities 

decreed the exclusion of "racially persecuted" persons from 

a grant of asylum on August 4,1942 in the form of a a direcr/tive 

issued lajcxxisxKfeaxxKiaK on the authority of the Federal President 

,a " praesidialverf ueguncj " , since the Bundesrat did not meet 

between Ju ly 29 and August 14, 1942.^ ?It concurred afterwards). 


"refugees for racial reasons (aus RassengruendenO). e.g. Jev^s, 

ig^<öc:5^^(3cg5K5C5öx are not considered-'pDl'ti-ead ref ugees " i . e . v/ill not 




er a 


be granted asylum gind be returned across t hef rontier ^ If t 
first entry they should not be handed o ver to the military or 
pOlice on the German-occupied side,Ä Jlecond attempts to enter ill 

illegally should 3aKx:XaRsxKZHäXxxxrHSgHRlKMxzHXK}clfiÄdxiÄxifeKX ^ 

(^ e < IIA ^.VK f /H /-^e*. r(/ > 

traNSFERSfi£xXi4£x to the/police or military psrxHuaix on the other 


i\h> ^ 


side of the frontier"for a mnaximum deterrent effect" . 
UEC, 93/94). 

< • 


public protests. It had been enforced at Western an« 

Stretches of the frontier where 


insufficient cantonal police forces fett swamped and threatened by the sudden amval of thousands 
. 1 x^M o^ Jewish refugees fleeing deportation in Holland, Belgium, and France in the Spring of 1942: the 
/T • / • |\ I / ^^ occupiers had begun to arrest thousands of Jews in these countries and intern ttiem in camps 

before sending them to their death in Eastern Europe. Thousands fied towar(te th« Swiss frontier 

rentier in a unique clandestine tiek through Western Europe, helped by Jewish and Christian 
social Service organizations, international aid agencies, church groups, children's homes, 
orphanages, boarding schools, trade unions, political parties, even whole mountain villages settied 
by staunch Protestants descended from Huguenots. At the end of tliis "Underground railroad" 

.1 J 





waited French and Swiss frontiersmen to guide the fugitives to or across the frontier. To my 

Knowledge, this wide-ranging activity, probably the iargest and most ecumenical of rescue efforts in 

Western Europe, has not found the deserves. The Swiss ftbntier police and its 

0* **'' P \ 

directorate in Bern had faiied to understand the grass-roots character of the Fi^nch movement. A 

SwiSf ^' ,' \ 

The.police excused their inability to stop this flow of persecuted humanity by blamingJt on paid 







"Schleppers", i.e., their usual adversaries, the locai smugglers, and expressed their frustratioh^nd 

'Menschenhaendler^H^i^itQm^'aiiimmense human 

/. dO-' disdain for the Iow-commercialism of 


^ A^'^v^ ^^^ 


; W ^^' ^' ^3^^^^'^ophe into a routine police matter, although residents of the Swiss frontier region engaged in 

U V yj^"^ 

W ^ \^^ massive protests against the repatriation of refugees into the hands of German customs and police 




officials. One report cited in a^government "white paper" of the 1950s (the Ludwig- Bericht) claimed 
that German military units serving as occupiers in the French-Swiss frontier area must have 


■U-V |,,^,. -T . 

.l»--» ■ 

observed the trek of the fugitives towards the Swiss frontieri' a total' of about 45,000 to 50,000 men > 

f women and children if estimates and official statistics can be trusted, and "looked the other wav" 

Of cours©! 1 had no Knowledge of the policies and the larger contexts in which we 
moved across the frontier. The German-Swiss military censorship was tightening to avoid giving 
the increasingly criminal ravings and self-destructive actions of extremist Nazis like the SS-issued 



y ^ Holland ör Belglun( Jews from the large centers of Jewish urban setöement in Germany proper did 

organize resistance during 

. ^ not have the organized suppoimenjoyed by Jews in France beginriing to organi; 

X^'^M those years as wprkers were being rounded up and sent to German factories. Similarly. the large 

numbers of Italiens seeking refuge in Switzerland across the Southern and Western frontiers had 
been supported by a broad ränge otinstitutions lil^e nnonasteries and iocal churches. They included 
a certain number of Jewish families fleeing the outbursts of antisenmtjsm while the fascist regime 
coliapsed j/tried, in a last gasp of energy, to link German-style antisemitism with their neo-or lata 
fascist traditJons. 

These massive nfK)vements of Jewish populations and the passivity of Swiss 
elected officials, military leaders or bureaucrats in position to know (like the Red Gross leadership, 
er the intelligence sections of the military, or the numerous Channels availaWe to the Foreign Office 
Political Department) in Bern had not entered JewWmedia like the Juedische Wochenblatt (?) 
availaWe to me in Bern or other eitles where Jews lived in some numbers. Information on the 
beginning Jewish catastrophe was suppressed everywhere; Washington and London sought to 
avoid linking the sacrifices their people were forced to Shoulder wIth the idea they these were 

needed to save the persecuted Jews - "a Jewish war" 

(^V..^.ay^\ ^^-\^^ 





^ 7 ^ 


^ \K 

in some ways, I läter feit grateful for not eing con- 
fronted head on with the kind of social demands "normal" life 
in "normal" gt troups takes fpr granted.Fortunately, my own"nor- 
al scxety" continued the grooves I had grown up in the 
Jewish communityfpx that had already proteced me against 
the rigors of persecution. When I arrived after 4 months of 
living in close contacs with my Jewi^h^fellow inter-neee 

in Buesserach and Siere camps, I was welcomed in Bern after 

+]lfrabbi's fam^ly 
only a few days or weeks WrabbiK andbeial worker Kxkh whom 

became close friends to Lotte and me far bettend the initial s 
^^^^"^of^refugee and«^vey ,.^bfai»- L 'lidU biuuyhL ub Lu>j cL: 
\^. My Jewih Bern,'*^he link witl^abbi Messinger and 

eöllä^olTig^ might have developed the same way in any of the 
middling German-Jewish congregations I had feit at home i 

with'f^my'Ä^fimilk r|fepantJ*n^-^e-pe^eo«ai:^-«;eöds M^' being. 

-.Without outstattin^our welcome we were allowed 
to feel like m%b^ #of teir f amilies»! taught adult education 
iEKfeHXKSXHHäx ccfaurses , assisted the rabbi in conversion ceremo- 

nies for non-Jewish ^ brides marryifiga^wish husband. Eugen and 

Sonjajwere with me as I ^raduated with high honor from Bern 
university, Iwas in contact with them during j^gen's tragic 
later years, before he took his qftm life. It was as if Jewish 
Bernwas offering a cosmpolitan bi-lingual cultural hpme 
of what could have become the best of German-Jewish, European- 
Jewish culture sans German barbarism, the heile Welt moving S8»o 
smoothly into its next evolution, its own romantic Utopia. 
the never-never dream of a romantic survivor from a dstroyed _ 


rderous world. 



Hcrt) M't^^^ 

i . 

Searching for orientation. 

The Overall task was political even more blian ciltural. 

VI Ä.^ 

Tlie culture of German Jewry even at fclie end^maintained ibs 
directioas. At tlie Hocliacliule , I liad lived in an atmospliere 
whose values and wliose daily scliolarly activiit ies^rere lunderstood 
as tlie lieritage of tlie most intellectual fruits of tlie symbiosis, 
Wissenschaft des Judentums, even if it liad been cut off from its 
life-giving contacts ' with German scholarship in tlie classics, 

1 * 

inphilosophy , tlieology and liistory and been separated from ±1ilk 

like-minded Jewish institutions across the globe. However diminis 

^ -. ■■■- "^ 

slied, however persecuted and reduced, in quality ad quantity of ac 
h££kx±h5Xx research and teaching, personal contacts and inter= 


national meetingsthe Berlin Hochs chule had Seen, Police crudeness 
and bureaucratic chicanery did not reacli tlie core - it was cheruth 


ö vö r s e 
nAcShad Haam's phrase. Whatever tliose blond barbari 


May 1933 expected to accomplish beyond -«fcttF^^ai^y 

Xxl^ÄiiÄJtJtxÄXÄXÄkÄÄKJtxxiÄÄÄ/ stunt that would taint Ge 



SÄrMÄH rKxpsisicx^HrxlSsrMaHxxx the world's view of Germany ' s academic 
sophistication for mucli Ion ger tlian the THird Reich lasted - 
Ka:fck±Kg: not a whit of all the teacliing and learning that was carrie 
onat the Hochs^chule until "they' decreed its closing by a police 
measure in mid-1943. * ' 

I had no diffi 

.« -^ 


Lculty Äölfalling in with research and 

^ teacliing at Bern University, as I will relate.xl sensed that 


/ greatest deficit HJiLmJUia h was political. I had no doubt been sliaped 
by the fclie inlieretitly close links of the Jewish Community in ^ 
(BeTlIB a ffjf a a 1 1 gM ro^^4a4r. ex a i t S i g4^^^^t7Tig£- t o-n t q b i i s^v c ^. .:^ — äI tii- -%4 le-^ Eni^tgtrt e n - 



■• •• 



GermÄiiy, wlietever tlie ritual or ideological orieaation 
of its componentsrwitli the ideas of bhe Eni iglitenment / 

tliat bliey i'correctly pe rceived as tlie source of tlieir 


equali ty , tlieir political Integration into governmenb , 

tlieir Claim to being accep^ted into German socity, tlieir freedom 

to find tlieir place in tlie unfolding commer*:cial-industrial and 

urban * —----.... . . 

JiliSkX^ft economies'^ of the emergingmodern world. If German Jewry 

liad a common mental ity, commitment to popu lar enl iglitenment 
and the phIx^xkäIxxk^mhJlx institution^s tliat embodied its polit 
litical values in changing ?:uropean - American society liad proba 
probabaly re aclied he deepest layers of public consciousness 

Jews may have been iÄe'^St Ell! je^i'siäf §5^5 JBÖM Community 

in Germany whose place inpolitics and society ,^r^.d in cultural 


and economii:±lK c life was as intrjÄcately and as inimtaelyboun^ 
boundup with witli the strengtli nd weakness of the heritageo 
•of the eNl iglitenment . , , ' 





U^H^i^ M-f<^lAC 













5vA)V>' ff'^^^^ 

'y^ A^/v^AoX 


frontier guard, his carbine on the ready 


(I had been accompanied by a fellow studentland friend from Berlin) 
r ^v.o mompnf wG had cTOSs ed the imgj> iJ iti »y^ 1 1 ne xn the 

We had been warned ayainst precisely this contingency , being stopped 
"too close" to the frontier by Swiss police or military units. Jean 
FRedrich, our Swiss advisor in Berlin, an INternatiOnal Red CRoss 

• • 

delegate^ ootGd a s l i Rls n n -4 o Allied Pr i o nei-of ■■ war campo i -tt Qkjnuanyr 
had known that since ear± :(^i,n__th/ wa i:, the SWiss'^edeaai -^lien 

Poliice - 

Fremd»emnplizei — had directed the cantonal ( State) 
" 1 carrying no (^ 

ep^triate civilian f ugf tives /^i4fK»M3{ personal idn^ti- 

^v ^cross the froenixi 


sliowing a val'id Swiss hrisa. i 
"eiX'co'^try^J^ ' c/aught beyond a 

to return fmgitives entering the country ^' illegally " , ie . -f^ 


• • 

if they had been stopped ne ar the fr 

ontier. Gen-e* 

without passport or Swiss visa to their country of orj.gin ^ 

, ,x:fc^^^ cantonal 

authoritie|^^^lwÄ=*W5=t(f followed this föderal advice<5Mf^d had ti 
over isMr«i«^ -fiT«5Bteä» to federal autorities for internment. 

" " b(7followed this federal advice<a«d had €urn^$^^ 

In some cantons. 

täte Police officers had helped Jewish 

fugitives ^ to file papers that would support their (temporary) admi 
nission to :^ge country. (The most spectacular flaunting ofi Federal 
law ocKurred in the canton of St. Gallen where th ehief of police 

^Pv;i\ G rueninger, was cashicred and tried for hei ping 
./ ^ 
thousand of fugitives to circumvent Swiss rules - he was rehabilitate] 

as late as 1995). B-iis-e^rtie^t^/ e . g • in the canton of Geneva, 

Jewish refiugees from Western Europe seeking entry in flight 

from depor tations were brutalized by a an unfit police officer 

and returned OfVtir fliü SWit 

right into the 


of the Vichy 

and the NaxixHKKMg Nazi Secret police (GestapO> 

Police reports from frontier regions ron the uLh u i haiiil 'y note 
•for Basel-Stadt^canSon^and other states that tlihe local 


— . 

in some numbers feo- assemb 

J. u iJ d ± 

p^putation had a-t^trewp 

protest^against the^^ repatriations of persons seeking asylum: 

they knew better than the remote federal officials in Bern 

what had gone on di^bmmkkhtheir frontier, a parliamentery "white jsa^iü 

paper" noted in the 1950s (Ludwig report p. ) -Jewish 

f ugitives from 


(in Eastern Europesince the 

1880s/in Germanysince the Nazi takeover, in Aust r ia since 
the Nazi invasion of march 1938( "Anschluss " ) 

This of course suggests a division between policies and populär 

attitudes or, on another level, between political parties and 


societal groups that runs deeper than the a split between 

police and military authorties 6n the one hand and liberal civil 

Society on the other: since the end of the 19th Century, gxu^^KlJXXx: 

li^«Sölil^$*«MXKX8x the SWiss national selfimage had gained a 

cultural component, that stressed the independent small peasant 

and mountain cowherd as the unspoiled re presentative of the 

Swiss nation.This of course reflected a ESuropean trend, a turn 

to roma 

ntic nationalisjn that redefined an urban, industrializing 
MjaäKXHixxKg societySs'^a;^ ai ^i--lu u ü eJ : ^ collecj{>tive imageA/.'X 


o\\u^\ W -i/^M^K^i^ 

O 1/ %ßü> H (a ■ 



1943, ll escaped frmm totalitarian^ 
brutalized Germany to^ree democratic Switzerland. The first 
partof my recollections (l) narrates the ^^ ciöcumstances . Seven 


narrates tne ^^ ciDcumstances . z^^y^n 

mnths before my flight, bhe-~-4i-S4 

i mp o G Q d u p o n- -tircr-^ J e w i bi lr '^''CoimnTnrrty— Jrf» - Ge-r^Ä^^i/^-. by....t J^a-^N*«-* — 





In 1943, J"eTr5-~rtr— BerliR had no certain Knowledge of the mass 

exexutions of Jews carried out toy the regime and its ethnic stooges 
in Latyia/ txr-wHMr4d:i about 790 Berlin Jews y g re deported lä-t* 

. hey pogialGreo cre "Osttrans^ ort 22" in October 1942. 


Lotte Schloss^my dosest friend during those harrowing war-years 

in Berlin and soon my wife for over half-a-century , would have bee 

deported with Rgr parents - a Luftwaffe officer. wanted to take 

over their house in a suburbyand the Gestapo removed fckÄMXÄRäx ii 

^ witnesses to the deed iÄe close family. Our memoirs (2) teil 

^ ish 

the Story of our lives in hiding, of the JewS and Christian 

-\ Wc^ 
men and women who gave us shelter^^/Vcf ten became close friends c^kVuj 

aao risked their freedom and their lives to suppprt us in isMrx 

S U\^\/ i \/0 At 

our struggle to S'^y-'tirsar another d ay.ScxfiM the end of 

February 1943yÄj|xXkÄÄ the last mass roundup of Jews for deportatio 
tion eastward was staged to"^leansd|ßerlin of Jews for Hitler 's 
birthday.. That ;^pring, Allied airra.ids inten^sified - Jews were 
kept out of airraid shalters unless the> had papers id~:entifying t 

them as "Aryan" . I had 

moved around town without/a 

valid id(fentity card for five of our seven months in hiding 




M 'r 

V j r 


VV (wr-Wüv^ 

Like most of the Jews remaininy inAßerlin, I had tried 

to emiyrate in the 1930s^ b>ut had f ailed :. United State s of 

America; the British-contr.^ o^lled Mandate of Paiestine; 

the United Kingdom. MeanwhilO/ I had studied at the last 

remaining Jewish institute for the gJeMjtM x^issenschaf t des' 

// w 

JudenfciA®s, and had served as a preacher (auxiliaCy rabbi ) 

s pme of j J^l^e 

at fthe "remaining small places of worship 


>1 II 

c^ v^ 

ll(0 1^^ 


sy nagogues of the Berlin Gemeinde ( Congregation ) . Less than a : 

handful of mj fellow st 'udents and my teachers were still alive 

a:fcxihKXJSHfitxH£ the War-ended. 

That Lotte and I (and a friend we included in our 

Plans) fled to Switzerland was, — e-f LOUiJjiJSi suggested by the 

country's common frontiers with South Germany - to reach any of 

«Ä^ reminmg neutrals in 1943 would have required a sea 

V voyagf^ ( Sweden) or travel ae^4««AFrance (SpairPand Po rtugal). 

) iA/01^V(M^,Vn?v4 (^a'natural Q«©«Pi for political and religious 

c '^\ \j^Oji CO ^S^ ^^i^ \^_^}iqj^ ^g^ 

perseutee^^ 4£C3.<'^^t¥a^räsT'Tri^ the home of 


Friedrich von Schiller's Wiihelm Tell,of the Red Gross, 

r: mu ^>r '^^^ „MaQ 1 c, Mou n t a 1 n . ^ . . . 

of Thomas Mann^ s^XaMfiÄXkÄXgxgg^xiSxSxSßSMiMSxSSftSJixSici^Sxx 

the League of Nations, political/^eutrali 

vtqH and non-involve 






in E 

n if Ai 

l^^ather had notxravelled to Switzerla,nd on business 

(he imported machine tools 

^ ifior not 

'i unclej had been 

married to a Dasle Jewish woman, I was conditioned at the time 
to share an idealized Image of Switzerland , -ö^^^--'"^--^ vaqu 

gue a)(Jd 


it had been^ 

B^fchL t^ 



,4 ^v^-^ ^ 

Fortunately, \je did not have to rely onbhildhood 
memories or incid ental German li terature. We owed the 

.1 r\ success of our flight toan uncle of Lotte 's,/ who had left 

Berlin and his subst^antial specialty biloinoGS in Leip:ziger 
Strasse behind while the going was still good^and had emigrated 
to Argentin^^ M(ilfgj1:tlCQ|gubseguentlj^ in LaCusanne expecting 
to return and constmue iöns- liyt^Ä work after the early fall of 

the Hitler regime, what KHKxiKKHiäxh±iflx:kHx persuded him to 

tte's rescue fXfiMxfiRXiiKmay have been 

Lp /DRy^l 
ayed ef f orts ' >r 

involvo hificoi f 4^ Lo 

kxÄXÄSRsax^Hxxx deep regret<; 

UT^e-s rescue XXKMXKÄXXXRn 

regret<: about having dela 


his Berlin sister (Lotte's mother) and her husj;j§ßä . < until 

it^-i?^clome too late in 1941/1942. Ilse and L udwig ^stkicxkks&Äx 

\ \o""5 



now drew on their large circle of friends and acquaintances 

secure ':-^ A^^Swiss acquaitance 

to a^<^:.^^ Lotte' s surv ival and esc'ape^XKX^s^KJliK^xKKÄ^ 

1^ jlH j|[HHKf f iKXÄix w i t h o 

ÄÄxÄHXB££iKiKixof the Geneva Internatinal Red Gross in Berlin 

as a 1 1 ^^^y^^ for Allied prisonersof -war in German capt ivity. 

Ludwig's Z^^Ö^r/ r^ Pff^ UL 

^ Berlin business executive ( she had t ^^te^iiLijQM£t£ =dff^ ^ 

f '^'> f to US 9i;..Ui^ 

^j^s ^^ "Aryan Sücessor-I) made funds available^^^ ' ^ ^ 


Jean Friedrich " 

■ »■» > » ■ — ■I ■ I. « 1 1 » » . . » ■ o** 

. A refugee pysician r' 

/^Schaff hausen 


'.i;.:^'^ ''X^r^^ ^ practicing in the frontier canton\^^— '^ 

persuaded a^husband-^and^-wif e pair c€ his patients to show Lotte 

the way through the German guard and customs System at the 

, I ^^o^tis^'/Mr .FriedriciiJ,/ \f > »^«^^ .connection ^4^Kx 

between ba±rte and Lausanne w&tr^Ti bypassed German censorship 

^ ^Aee^ (^)r..jy3 ,,, ,3.10. 


v7Gd Ludwig to plan Lotte 's füght with minute care. 

"E »«i^>i^^iÄMt#T:^4^KJbP^Ä^ -^ 

»q aiäu-uami 






V C 1 4' 

, 1943, Lotte was guided acrs^^he frontier flis^uised as 

a sVinday-afternoon stroller with a local family.ji followed^ 

Irected by the same familyy|six 


eeks later/on Whitsuntide-Sua 


o^y/ jMy f riend Lutz Ehrlich and I succeeded io pass/ the 
Secret Police controls HHxihsxKi^jc in the /tyo through-trains ^iPO- 
-h ad , tr x- use to i - GQGh - ^h o füon bllHye^ S-^^in Berlin *s Anhalter Bahn- 

hof/ Öur guide had waited at the Station exit with his bicycle 

and moved ah ead while we folowed him up a street in saf e-ö^i^Bü^ 

enough distance not to s 

()^ljo3iAcL -U^)^ 

u ggest any link should we be stopped 


He l©Eit US onAa tree-covered kno*f^ and left after pointing out 
the direction we had to take across the ndman ' slandxj^ka:fe 




and a country read patrolled be German fronters and customs 
guards at reguilar ( and pjredictable) interv als. The ilMÄÄx 



night was lit bya nearrly füll raoOn. ^M ±rxx±^x.s:±s.rx c 

4o Vv^' d /^^MA 


^ ^Aaaa«/! fast moving, scattere 


interm'iirteTrt'fT'Tt/ clouds dri 


ven by a brisk kxrA June wind 


It^may have tgken us a hour andf a hal 


of puttmg boy scout 


T i^emQi ' icjI bo the deadliest testof reality 

my life# ftut when we entered the forest KÄxkstäxfeÄÄRxJiÄM 

WüulT^ G v o r - i^a — s^ in 




e frontier ye ran straig?it into a grfeay-green unifor 


that in the dar.c resemtrl^ed the Gerraan issue we knew: only the 

teel helmet, a flat 
f rm 

xU:^_A^ii-^ rnarked its b— earer apart 

^l(} ^^^^^ th^ GermarU a e(eep pot x&Hfi^flSjiiK^x covering the sides 

and the back of the \ r^ a ro-r . A Swiss frontier guard, carbine at 
ready, binoculars dangling from his neck, must h ave observed 
our pro^ress tiirough the o ^en field^ cur taking cover irl'^'^^^^4 

ü / - — T^ T^' 


the last hectJc run thr 

Mwti^rou^cixal i^ 

ough grain stanjfrj'cif high enogh t 

^■^n inar.1P,.1-n fril]nT7 tll^ 


instrf utioßiis^i lven_.iLa,i3X-i -ur Sv;iss fri enC F r i^dri cH»-.4-a,.^erli.^: 


. t\\ 




the Underground life that had been my lot for seven months 
in war-time Berlin could not have been more dramatic.,^± ^or 
veeks,«ae=fcia» I would be seized_by^euphoria^ an emotional 

high.It did not repress the^orrors of near extinction thät 

T Vi^H y.^A ^ ^^ Berlin when 

I had had to suppress :: l played the "Aryan" roles I had to 

>I^^ere-t throu g ii fe^re day ^^^^aiaiHH^ji^ii^xf illed \ 


th encGunters 

that may 

have t urned into threats to my liberty 

and m life with any false step 

. Bifet^he moment I had met tha 

Swiss frontierguard, ^he tensionj^a^d deceptions I had to live with 

dropped off^ i s^sRe^ -ft-t^öst^arried away by the rush of 

*l.^^iifl[ (I^seemed to hp^r -in my. "inner ear". 

jubilation that f loodidlSA^^HrifPrnsTitidi^^ir^u^ 

It el«p±^i^ir-^..«5i^ the *^^e^^ mourninrikd^jS^ with which 

ly^reacted to our losses?,-änd^ould make it easiir; to rnÄm 

lly j i 

the r g-staitioc - of wh»([» iiioulü 



-i-fe — d-e^ine-^ -my -vjre v and - 

the cou^^^HT^ry and the people that 

the holocaus 
f^l'lng about 








his Office to calm him down. Ai-i 

5^^3^^5$x ^ ^^^ ^^^ intens ity 

.eO wiie^ 




wrang le a weekend of leave from camp kÄxtXÄXÄixiÄxJöÄxMÄÄKRÄx , 
wroteAevery second day and wcalled by telephone when I 
had themoney* tie^time\l setjaside for newspaper and magazine 
eading/^ I had merely skimmed the Nazi press/in Berlin ( unless I 

\ hunted down a rare f^yi?«4-§jal newspaperl'| Swiss or Hung aria^n 

Station \_ vi __1-^^"-^^ ' — — — ^IjM^g^i 

.t the gharlottenburg rapid transoTti^'TTewspaper kiosk -% j^Kedaily 

newsbulletton over the Swiss-Geran radio around 7:30 p.m., the 

weekly commentaries on foreign events and t he war by a very 

insightful commentator ( NKkia±asxi2i von Salisi2ix (pubiished iKxlSÄÄX: 

^ÄX iftxxxxiSSS" under the title Eine cHronik des Zweiten 

» . Weltkriegs. RadiokomenaiXK}c 1939 - 1945, Zuerich 1965.1981). 


11 x::7uu.j.:70iy. i 

SX«M»xä1 inmates internedW 

1^ -X ^ «^1 • 



Sierre- eine Zwangsgemeinschaft - , divided into nuerous smalle r 



^\\m /A/4-LmJü/ jl wipe out 

^ \ ifL. *-• ffi^ groups^ tv did not ^o*e the daily annoyances, the lack of freedom, 

Dv c i ''^7;.^^7i^ semi-military barrack-discipline and feög 

^, the 


noise, d irt and disorder .xx:^:ji:^*:S>:^>^5^:jf^*- I— w^-s--a-s-~-fiHi^4i- 

r / 


/ . j^iT ^~-T?irtad-r^' -->^TT l y the Alandscape and the 

50 >^^ 

seasons brought relief . Most of us had come frx)m eitles - many 

feit the lack of intellectual Stimulation (^ h*rc in^^viC^J&v *^7 ^'''^ 
primitive hygienic KHHiixiiHjax facilit ies. It surprised me 
projbablymore than , others - that I saw only one/i rabbi and no j^xiß^l 
pdSif^=iMa^ ®f a|B^^ denominat ion visit the camp during the four-mponths p 
period 1 had been there. He had nothing to say to us, and ©e fled 
the stif lingdäayx middayheat without being avavailable for Kpacon- 
sultation.iw[ost internees would probably have blamed the boredom 

they feit In this rural environmeüt. and the ^r ^n-iTihbiy_r 





For ii few monblKS/f TTilled fclie spofc of an alternate delegafoe 

on tlie "Jewisli Jist" lieaded by Hans KLee, tlien a refugee in 

Geneva wlier eliis wife practiced dentjfi^Vj. He knew of my work 

witli blie JewiwSli youtli movement in Berlin, I liad known of liis 

fatlier's Alfred role on tlie riglit wing of fclie Zionist 

movement in Germany . IJnti 1 tlien, tlie controversies Kmhxhxx 

tliat liad created mucli acrimony i»xi€k^xiS:äfiMxbetween Jewisli 

and political exiles/emigres in centers like Paris in tlie 

mid-1930s were feit only in private political conversation , 

never in public. Tliey were entirely tlieoretical , tliere were no 

XÄXKHx:^ realistic issues / f rictions were personal, we all liad 

pHHrxÄxyopportunities to develop our views in lect ures and 

(fil&scussions about our political Utopias, mucli of its sodewliat 

remote from reality, most of it remote from power or influence.-| 

N-eiJL, tlie endof tlie war ,:kkfixiMi:KXHaJciHMıxx political exi les| 

gÄXHSiäwere able to link up witli tlieir former party Organization 


or join such new groups as "Bewegung Freies Deutschland", ( 


wliile Jewisli refugees s ouglit recognition of tlieir demands 

from kkÄ American. British and Zionist agencies Xkxjc 

nearly overwhelmed by kk& post-war MxgxÄJkHHH social Service 

and migration emergencj-^? . known as the displac ed persons 




Problem. Publicity created by a "refugee pari iament " , i t was 

strengthen the ^fug^ iew ü' righJ^r) 
lioped, SKKi^ miglit 1 ooe ei r tte qr.:- JliAi^lLl: deiTen<*?^e*iee^f internees 

/ ^ ^ yf / ^C i «^j OW^} {y VI '1/ ^H i i ^^f /^r^ 

and tolerated emigres Achoose imong th/e optionÄs they wisli6^' 

to e^Jtererse ift^ ' ' i e ouQ G- like re-migratiop, country of final 

settleraent, citizensjiip for stateless persons, or. for 

Zionists, international recognition of their right to 

settle in Palestine. 



r ^ 

weiterwandem" (re^migrate):,the townspeople had counted 16,000 men, women and children 
arriving at that port city of the Rhine where streams of Protestants Coming across the Jura 
mountains and through Geneva and Bern* congregated/andTeceivedtemporary shelter - just like 
Lotte and me when we fied Nazism in 1943, but unlike us in social experience: in line with the 20*'^ 
Century culture, we were "processed" by several ievels of bureaucracy. Iield in prison/icamps and 

teft a l o ne "as Zivil- Internierte" until the visa divisions of sevefal 



r^ Jm^^/ 

/y countcBS helped us to find our final destinations. The federal government of Switzerland was quite 
concerned about our moving on lest an excess of allen residenfeJ'Uberfremdung"^ight dilute 
native Swiss culture^; « « 

, Of oom-fea, affard lo puk fuii dl ili dliy U i ii w » 

Ui*i/fV Ut,> ^ 

they had ry ^ 
(y^ I ''''y saved our lives - thny^fl^wig thQVeourtKy survi\^in Nazi occupied, Europe wh«le our fellow 

zi control an d «u tse ivcs- ifnwa fenc - Be r li n, i n ^ ha-eye-oMbe^^tam. ^ Hiany good ^ 
together'feQc to fw cU ifti r - way ii^to the Canton of Schaffhausen... iottclliww i m y 

mefmJf^töJ jefefTriteH t n^-^^ l fl< a3ufflB9PtiHgay&d#dHS- good psychological 

reasons/we both had formed a most positive Bild of what the country would be like that held our 
hopes for life against death. It was a child's fantasy land, fairy tale simplicity, scraps of that violet 
(Suchard) chocolate wrapper William Teil in period costumes in Schiller's^«at playf,thg.sta§e^ 



* » * i 1 > 

, , ,Nhati««^iiHlTe«wl7lurnedJiitothÄ- i H ^ 
threatweescapedtrt^rti^«) Swiss freedom. ' r - — -~ 

T^ C^JtU^ \^^^ rrv...WV c^^^ ^.r^<r^ > 


l/x •' 

t\C :-^^^ ^^ ßO 0\ 

C ^0 < ^Is cU. 04, Jd/"^' 








f(ilc\'- iiH*»- 1^\H}fiy\f\t,^ 




On December l,1943,|less tlian lialf a year after I 
liad siidaked ac ross tlis SWiss f rentier for dear life, 
I siigned myself out of labor camp Sierre -- 1 iteral ly jl t 
had been one of^j of f icej obs to/]stamp s*w^i 'official uotices 
into refugee passports . Being^ interned in tliis camp, and - 
ina military quarantine camp iMiifoi ' e li , liad become Vliardsliip 


only at the end. Tlie University of Bern, represented bv its* 

yy Faculty Committee under Dean Fritz Stricli, liad settt— i%^ admiss/on 

*^" m a • ^ ' 

jTfljjpfretTt' proptly #w tlie begmning of tlie Fall term in mid-October 

^ut tlie pjcHMisÄiä letter on Ja^K stipend rliad been promised by 
a Geneva Student aid Organization had been \LXJL-^--W JJ iilLj » 1 a t e , 

leaving me on tenderhooks / , ingrained punctuality pacing 

C\ II 
impatience witli fcjW unexpected obstacle. , i j ^^I 

I liad tak:en.^ly camp \experience as l^^Stji as 

such experiences would oe a 

montlis of liiding iCHXxiflyxxx 

f roifr-öef liifi . Atwl I had taken it as a challenge ^^^^xHgaxHxxiayx 
rs^MXKxJtH to m^ g iJi 1 i l' yi ■ L (jl gobain my i nt ^ gi ^-^rby. 

Id not change but transform it 

from witiiin. ^n my '*w> r» i i"'i r I hadbeen I n s lpii ' ^g . otrhWirs^ and ^ork 
for tlie Community^ xKä ilie youtli movement tradi tion W:llange<jr 
annoyances into tasks . ' .j^ ^ f 

to bi^-ii4HUuHuyii^LäUda£Wiii6aittAiä witli hundreds of others in close . 
J -^iiföXitsiÄ, to follow iB«e3ll»»*4Nifrr^utTnjegr7to 1 i"a v e " Sl ' f I j ' m i ii i m a 1 crea 




V .. ■•■'• ■ 


turi^« comfort. Wliat^Äould I have done witliout 

of Support ? I appreciated the friendships that had grown up 

among some ixksxjaxxMfilKäx of us, the comradesliip and the 



cam^ liumor fcUafe liad sustained me , , pleasurej . . tlie landscape 


During thr first days of December 19 43^1 began t(b 

tod study "General HIstory" 

gemeine Geschichte) at 

^/ otterea oy an eiaer^-y somewnaY cra nKy j^ ro-cesT^a ni: j^n 
V^\A \^y^^ whose concepts had beenjformeqby^ German profesrgrs 

Bern Universoty. AS two minor subjects were required for a 

Dr. phil. program, I chose Semitic Philologys a/Jd Prehistory. 

I also enrolled in courses 

isafliyomenoüiled iHxiEKiHXKS in History of Religion, They were 

of fered by an elderjy somewhat/cranky Protestant theologian ] 



ofc r glkialo gy at the University of Marburg some decades earlier 
Since I tried to prove tg^ myself that at leasT that subject 
could serve as common/ ground with my studies in Berlin, I 

r • • ^ 

took KHHXWSWK^fi-reitä--TeT5-^&^ survey courses in 

general history of religion with Max Haller, , and waited for 

ogy 1 had T^ot^ ■ iB g ^ : kc-4 ) u4: efa:::: sicjhoo^ ^ 
in Berjin, and in BaecRVs inspired presentationxcaf 
ofah ui)tellectual framework. After three terms of stubborn|t/ 
Maitin^ for a 

I abandoned thxsxpiHK yhe subject. 

My intellectual inte^restsii interests had changed, the 

Professor kept treating the cass \^^hi anti-Jewish asides 

J^ ^0. iöu,-f'cuU 

. . Ki^v 



and trivia^a captive audience of futuire /past ors 



f ound (^tertaing - the lecturer, an elderly somwhat rotundxHHd 
XKiHiixKiHHxx manf .^fe :idd a^^ ^^^^pl^gj irs^a3 ii^ e a engag^ in cheap ant 


Jewish asides although he knew pej^fectly well 

that I had been at the Berlin HMshschule. . A case for the 

i^i d^c^ided, too trivial to matter. 

In contrast,/both minors for the "doctoral program 
turned out as concrete and craf tman-like as I couldAwish^^' 
at the time, and were tamght by quiet, insightful men 



öl -l 

M I Ißaiied- 

J^.eane4- to respect. The 

lacturer who represented 

Semitic philology was a coubtry parson who had been 

trained in the (then famous) orenetalist department ^of Leipzig Uni" 

ity.I studiefft'^Arabic with him^his d^ölm A ij ä speciallgr was 

modern and contemporary Arab,poetry, but he read medi^al Arab h#S 

hi^ t©ry texts with his-^^malHclass änd^made me itrabslate and inte 

jfcHxxKi ,preta text from this litera"^ture ni hy y. ex^arosriiiiCTÖ^nr for 

, the same 

the doctorate. Hebrew was -igaf^.ght by HHHJ^ksx country parson 


(L yCC H'^J 





who was (^iaa to ii«XHX compare his translations of mediaval H^rew^ 

^\i Aramaic KHKiKiSKSix^fxaHÜiHS^xiaHHKbxaxiKÄ with the readingsu: offered 

Isäit^translation and edition^:)^ 
preparing AI commentarß/jj to ä minor rr^/rul 

for publication. . . 


in my term papers - he-was 
Old TO 


^My prehistory prof essor^also seejfed to havej\ah' 
in +K *] 
interest .alt^ou(Jh hi^ major achievement had been a comprehensive 

A o , ' f ound 

V ^ r 1 c 
cataj-ogue of pxEkxiaxKiKxaxxx prehistppf artefecat in the 

Cknton of Berne. He was intereted in links^ between folklore 

'' 1 
and Izfe cultures for which we have no written record, and saw 

pai rQ).jx >]ri nr contAikuities between burial rituals among i-seirerbed 7 

^ ^ h Y->^ Ui' r^ # o 

Bernse peasants and j^nd those suggested by excavated Iremains 
in Europe or the Near EastÄDuring my studies/in Bern^ h 
directed the Bern HistorischeMMsxs Museum and its field work. 


which served ^a^xxxfcXHiHXH^xxxx asV/training ground for his 

students at the university/ and gave me .^ easy access to 

hisy l 
Swiss prehistoryl worked as an assistant in iSurgaeschiJLake dwejlli 

excac Ovation for two summers before I left the country. He also 

introduced it^e^ ■ f-aTtd-=fe h o a r t-yro t-e s so x^^^ps^^ gg to the laJ^ers of 

I artifacts, fro m ar3?ewh ead.-H^d stöne axe t'd/Near Eastern monastery 




toe the silver a nd gold 


eis in the bishofe's treasur^s: 

J w 

their Byzantine-style opiied up eerly ined|^eval history, cultiiral 
influences along the tratie toutes from Upper Italy and the passes 

that had made the Rhone Valley an internaional xÄHtK trade r'oute 
and an object of conquHrors and merchants. My entire education 
hadbeen bookish, and I lapped up thelink bdtween the a n LelciuL /"j 
h^§:Q^ej^-^^s^^-^e^s and ^^^ history . (0f. the landscape before my eye|^s. 

Many years later, I would ^e^SSs^ ^ \M%b i experbence in my first 
Visits to Greece and to Jerusalem and Isael. 


Pro.Tschumi^also seved as a connection with the world beyond 
our local prehistory.Qne of the more U|ljusual assistamts 4^ 



excavationi was a^'^hite pRussianemigre who had fled to Switzerland 
from Paris where he nad grown up KxikhhisxfKKiiiyx when the Nazis 
began to draft able-bodied yound men j^orship them t^German armamaen 
factories xHxgKXKiHHjtx . Ivan Tolstoi ( no re:ative of leo's) and 
I had been assigned the same room in the small inn at the lake 
that the mu^seum had rented for the staff , and we soon discovered 
a good many attitudes and qualities we shared across the barriers 
of our hugely diverse backgrounds. The summer became memorable wh 
when we puidg,led a (non-swimming) peasanr boy from the slippery lake 
and failed to revive him - even the local firemen failed to 
accomplish it. We were close in our athletic agility-^and in our 
sense of n^n-conformitsy with the Henvironment that had led us to 
rebel against ^^conventional iJ j| Hf as we worked ourjp ways out of 
our adolescence. Thfet Professor Schumi had been^mployed by Ivan 's 
grandfather in St. Petersburg as arutor before the First World äwar 
and had absorbed some of the generosity and largesse of ti«it q^'^'^C' ^ 
pre-war culture had fused with his native generosity ai£==4»4H%d 

the Story of their last years under Nazism to Dean Strich who ha' 

left German academic career behind in 1929, disgüstev by xJcx 

the anti_3"e^ish and antisemitic climate of university scholar- 

ship in his field. I am grateful to Dean Str ich to this day for 

the encouragement he gave my plans once he HHÖHxxi^iaHdxthHX 

had to accept my veracity. 


po-1 lice officer, Bruetsch-Maeder , fo fill out an application 

for a refugee passport^ signifying that I would be admitted as 

a refugee - Fluechtlingv. The rest of my stofyin prison and the two 

camps is rscordKdxabove. 

That xfeHS on December 1, 1943, I was dimissed from camp 
internment I owed to a provision in Swiss rules for refugeees: 


a university 

in the Fall of 19 40, the rules for the admissiion of xHJfeKXx students 

quzlif ied 
were extended, in modified form, to interneees in., Swiss labor 

camps. Lmtz Ehrlich, my fellow refugee, had learned early about 

it, bu when we applied to the comanndant of the military quarantine 

camp in the JUra ( BuesserabhT« ^ he explained that we had to wait 

until the (military) quarantine was completed. FRom July on, I 

fchencpcepecedcmpc assembled the certificates I would need to be 

accepted by a uhiversity; - 1 have described above how my good friends 

Ulla von Hleflilcrone Hielmcrine, and pHssxKbiy Jean Friedrich, 

our Swiss Red Gross contact, possibly also Willie Jankowiak, 

Ludwig Schoeneberg' s former driver, now a Kurier Courier) employdd 

by the German Foreign Office for its route eo Bern, included those 

documents in their handlugagge on trps to Switzerland . and ifixthem 

there at a safe address: for Ilse Schoeneberg to retrieve. 

Visits by LOtte and me wih the Dean of the University, the well-know: 

and widely respected Fritz Strich, removed any doubts the Facultaet 

may have hed, given the low reput in which edmcation in Nazi Germany 

was held abroad - of course my educatiO-n was obtained in a i^EKish 

Highschool (Oberschule) of the Berlin Jewish Gemeinde and at the 

last remaining Jewish Institute of higher Learning in Berlin, ^e 

Lehranstalt, fuer die Wissnschaft des Judentums in Ber;in (- I re- 



with his Swiss steadf astness 


anchpored his 

romantic) as one of the most lovable 

Image in my mxKä ( 

Swiss persons I ancountered during my studies in Bern. ^QiäcHi 

" 'P^lasted -arhnorft j : our lifetomes ^vfhen Ivan migrated to Nyc;x/^ 
and pursThed a career in scianceat Columbia University. 





wlio gained international notoriety beyond 

liis diescipli 

ine fln 

tlie 1970s 


a Britisali court sentenced liim 

to a sub^tantial fine for slandering Winston Cliurcliill and 
otlier cabinfet members for tlieir post-war surrender of Russian nationa 
nals tliey liad found in the bRitijfrsli Zo/ne of Dccupation after 1945. 

(Tlie Russian execxuted most of trai tors ) . 

wliom I DflsixagÄXHxx ^xxxifxxxxxiiäx^xx again 

Ivan i^lstoi /i^S :j%q? met in New York m tlie 

1950s, represented an attractive mixtrure ?f Gallic cyn icism ( liis 

parents liad fled t o Paris after 1917) and Russian mysticism. He 

also introduced me fleetingty to a group of emigres tliat lias since 

upper-case / \^ i 

probably vanished, » Wliite-R ussian ÄHi:ixKii±]sx aristocrat^^ J^^ /T^ 

/ infecced by tlie liarsliest and most-pseudo-rel igious liatred of Jews 


I would ever meet. Tliei East Coast center was an estate owned by Leo 

uni ted 
Tolstoy's* grabddaugliter , Alexandra. Ivan may liave l$»»K tlie most 


contradictory intellectual and cu Itural features I would ever meet 
in one person. Did I appear to my friends as a similar mixture of 
pre-modern religioisity and liisjtrical criticism ?And as sentimental 

contemporarÄS in a most unsentimental time ? \ie ferried Allied 

across Lake Genevatro France 

fliers interned in SWitzerland still before tlie armisticey so that tl)e| 

]^H coua join their units - I, KymbHii^KÄiiMX counter-symboJBIlical ly , 

pi anist 

lielped a young German refugee ^öM?t to cross /tnto France wliere hej: 
fiancee' served aaanBK officer in tlie British army : tlie fRencli 
)l^ police, £HrHXÄrxHa[s*:jc:Kx fresh from their collabo ration witli the 
(>C^.^W' <^'^^^/^cup ying Germans , had failed ro issue a visa toja woman they 

^aJ ^ ^ would have rounded up for depor/öttion only two yeasr earlier^^^)«^ l 

L l got closet to I 

jjj \t^ e^ x/^M^'^^ "T^^^^ «f^nnnH Rhaff member of the Universitv ^XfftÄX at >' 

(I^Uh o^ij thatexcursion, 

Tlie second staff member of the University ^xfftg^ ar. r 

the /' 

was warm-hearted Office supertvisor of tlie Fakulitae!-; / 

1 M 

^'"^"Miss Crivelli. She had come along because of her interest in art aiiü 







My biVte perspectiveyhad been different frora the beginning v\^en lAtz Ehrlich^ 
my fellow refugee and I^had Aasked the military Commander of canp Buesseracto 


for h±s our earliest rplease cbo a university, a|\7eeJc or two after the 

i «' •■» j 

aKä©tiS§''^ir'fe^ per sonal j^scrutiny refugees had to endure feacxsKHKHxtiy 

XRgmgms had 


Now under civilian control in canp Sierre, Ov>r 
vague hf^)es / 1 become administrative process ^ The canp director showed me the 
rules, an old/ordinance reactivated for refugees v;hose studies had been 
intermapted by the war.Obviously, officialdcm remembered Switzerland ' s 
well^ established reputation as oontinent'ä 

:educationa jprovince f 

Refugees were given the opportunity to be released foom intemment in a camp| 
and continue their studies at 

Swiss instiution if they 

gualified for full-tiine study andi.demonHtrate their financial ability. 

- _ V\at[ 

Switzerland , at that time, ä^ no university-level institute of higher' 

Jewish leaming^the talmid-schcx)ls ( yeshivoth) loacated zAWx±£ eux 


followed traditional orthodox curricula that had been of no interest to me. 

Sinx xcn j had already beeeMM^ted^asizairraEKä^ 

-/ * ^^^^^^^^--^ ^ ^^ Berlin Jewish commuity Ij 


Ai *: . 

k: •-V '' ; * 


oould I still be 

considered a Student ? And did I not begin a new academic subject^ not 
theology- vdien I took up Eriiropean history as my major now ? ,To i^ -g^öat 
iitriii^f I remembeeä the 19th Century Hochsc hule Statute that required 
a doctorate and a printed disertation for füll graduation ym)ä. iVfound 
a no-nonsense warm-hearted Jewish social worker in a Geneva Organization 
\fc\o chaperened my"Case" through thebaze o4^ precsrpions and organizational 
jurisdictiöns\ to-ke^ the lighj^at the end of my üiKteix tunnel bright. yl^'P, 

- » ^ yOc 1^ . 4- j ( 

It would take tiiiie to identify the right address to whid[i*4a-direcjL an i 

application for a yM"ipend tt 

in museums slie liad probably see few tijfips before our excursion. 
But lier true interestwere tlie sbudents f04f eacli of wliomxskxkaMxxx 


slie expressed warm interest - tliey were tl^e family tliat tied lier 

eraotionally to tlie universi ty , tlie cliildren\ f/liose well-being and 

successes slie was quiebly and most/'lielpf ul ly solicibous. Fraeu;lein 

/ ' 
Crivelli, like Fraeulein Wildert tlie Hochs cliul e Library in 

gerlin.did not . , , ^ ^ / i. . ,_ ^ 1.1 • ^ • 1 

eaimüt need Co be called Fr^u to msure respecxt for their professional 

woulrd meet 
competence - eacli in her tleld.-ilke many professional wotaen imet after 

/ / 
wwards among library an^ administrative staffs in New Yor k, Berlin, 

/' /' 
H eidelberg , and KÄjöy ©t^er academic centers, 



'. y 

03/30/2001 13:05 2152^77699 


PAGE 02 

Swiss FaJIure 


0,4-946 ' 


On December 1, 1943, I signed out of Labor Camp Sierre and entered free 
Switzerland, barely 5 months after crossing the frontier: I had been accepted as a matriculated füll- 
öme Student by the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Bern. That the Canton of 
Schaffhausen and the Federal Justice and Police Departments ir Bern had admitted me as a 
'refugee" - Fluechingrom Nazi Berlin had saved me from dcportaüon and death, probably in a 
mass execution pit near Riga where about 700 Berlin fsilow Jews of the '22.0sttran8port'' were 
ignominiously machlne gunned to death upon arrival. Lotte's parents perished there. Lotte and I 
would have been murdered wth them. We learned only ^S^sx more Öian half a Century how we 
would have ended cur llves, I had fought and repressed my awareness of this mass murdeivTo ^ 
say that we were gratefui fbr Swrtzerland being there in this greatest hour of our need, and that we / 

acc^ted the city of Bern and the men and women on both sides of the border who had rfsked s^^ 

^/ ^ödi^ - — ^jS<^--^^ ' 

much for us alniost in loco parentum/,|pH-paie reflection of our warm feelings.:feüphoria of our 

successfül e$capes turned into a llfe-long sense of cxmnectedness in spite of the failures cf nerve 

and perspective that had maffced Swiss refugee policy: the country had l>ecome almost a second 

home to us afler we had Struck roots in the United States. 





and great charm even less well meaning and civilized policemen than the Swiss who had already 
an*estßd her when she had crossed the fronöer six weeks earlier could not escape. In addition, the 
State (cantonal) police officer who had contact with Lotte when she arrlved was the same man who 
had processed nne in pnson and who had dictate^ to Lotte's uncle and aunt his sawy and detaiied 

03/30/2eei 13:95 2152477699 


PAGE 03 

Instructions fbr me to beat the German sutveHlance System at ttie frontier. The police t)lot!er 
identifying me as her lover" (rather than her "fiat>c6e". as would have been the custom among 
respectal^le people) must have made the Schffhausen police detachmenl smile for some time 
Clearly, our behavior and distinctly middle^^lass character, in conjundion with Lotte's unde's 
obvious affloence suggested that the stereotype of the impecunious Jewish schnorrer from Eastern 
Europe (a long-standjng Swiss prejiidice) did not apply. On our third day in prison we were asked 
to sign an application to the Police DepartnDent in Bern to be granted refugee Status (i.e. netto be 
sent back to Germany). 

I did not feel sure that we would be allowed In since I did not know these 
circumstances. We had been warned that in mid-1942 (July-September) the Swiss federal 
government had suddenly tightened the ruies for the admission of Jewish refugees. and that we 
were facing the real danger of being turned over to the Nazi police if we were caught dose to the 
frontier. And I had not known that the federal governnnent in Bern had activated an old Provision for 
the admission of foreign students and extended it to wartime refugees in September 1942, a few 
months after our arrival. I had not known -- and not known for a tong time - that even if already 
before the post-war discussion and the publication of government sources opened a gap between 
the civility and integrity, even friendship the intellectual world f lived in at the university, and the 
smoothness of face-to-face poHteness amoog strangers, and the ugty stereotypes, the nanrowness 
and village*pump invidicusness one sensed in tto attJtudes towards Jews they traditonally saw as 
the "others": clearly, the Geneva pabician who harassed Lotte in traditional master-servant terms 
represented more than an individual aben'ation. Who had been the people who would not take two 
young women like Sonja Totzke and Ruth Basinski under their wings? Sending them back to 
Gestapo control near death only a few months earlier in 1943? Were these aberrations from the 
gre^ tradition I began to study in courses and seminars at the University and experience 
abundantJy in our personal lives? They could not understand the depth from which we had to 

03^33/2001 13:05 



PAGE 04 

extricate ourselves, Was there in Swiss Personalities a cJifferentiation in the extreme attitudes or 
was there a connmon matrix which would explain what unified them? 

I have previoüsiy described the fortuitous coincidences on many tevels that now, 
on November 30, 1943 allowed me to leave the wortd of camp$ (es$ than six montHs after I had 
fled across the frontier. Looking Iwck at my experiences as I traveied the breathtakmgly l)eautiful 
Loetschberg railroad North to Bern camp meant being confined to narrow Spaces and "official " 
tinie schedules, living with neighbors not of your own choice began to weigh lighter than the 
friendships and the mutuality I had experienced, the newiy üncomplicated emotions I feit for Lotte, 
the sense of having entered an environment that I could be open to without the caution and 
defensive vigilance under persecution. This feeling of reiief, of living in a friendiy, not hostjle 
environment, of ganing a perspective on the fime ahead, recovering the 'master" over my own 
time, my own life, depending on nobody but my own resources, almost adolescent in its 
exüberance and unreality - it penetrated my feelings and my perceptions of Switzerland, the 
landscape and the people, even if three years of living in the country suggested greater 

At midnight on June 13, 1943, 1 walked straight into a Swiss frontier güard hidden 
in the half-shadow of the forest where Ihe no-man's-land ended Although his uniform resemWed 
the Gennan in its grey-green coior, he had to be Swiss: his steel helmet sat flat on his head, unlike 
the poMike German government issue. With the field glasses now dangling from his neck, he must 
have obsen/ed us as we had left our cover on the side and meandered through the fields that 
made up the no-man's-land, north of the Rhine river, in Schaffhausen Canton. 

Being stopped by Swiss authorities only a few yards across the frontier presented 
a serioüs danger. Our Swiss friend in Berlin and Lotte*s relatives in Lausanne had wamed us. 
Since September, 1 942, Swiss regulations had denied entry to Jewish fugitives seekmg asylum, 
I e from being admitted to a canton (nrtember state of the Swiss federation), or to t>eing recognized 





. ^After the first year at the University, my plan of stuöy 






History", Allgemeine Geschichte oral exaitdnations in the two minors including 

/ the 

qualifying term-essays ,and preparation for palaeography (ancient text and 

rxgKasscsMHDx rigorosum 
gKEXKEdKrHxäHKKEH±sx handwritten documents) and chflDonology 

I had been naive to believe that studyingin the Protestant Theology 


Department would be cornpatible with similarly named subjects et th e Hochschule 

I dropped history of religion without regeefafes, äaat I feit bored \A^at used 



an ur genfi concem of itiine was only partly the lecturers ef fect on me - I had 

outgrown my involvement . ^^^^.^.....^^.^s,^^,,,,^^^^^ "Allgemeine Ge- 


shhichte", tumed out to be Modem and recent European history, probably 
was given its nameiwhen it was introduced to set it apart fron SwisS -history, 


the main survey course taught in Bern and other SWiss universities presuinably to 

prepare Gymnasium (junior College) teachers and maintain a graduate level 



research piyogram ending in the Dr.phil. The university did not lookr-hadk Kl ^^6 
at medteväl örigins, I presume Zuer^ch Basel and Luc eme may have had 
quite different historieds. Bern University was al9th Century foundation, 
K \ Utr ^ liberal protest, I was told, utilitarien in its enphases on law and medicine, 

given the power-political dominance of the city State of Bern, les messieurs 
der Biam -^^ inicontrol of large Stretches of land westand southwest Jjyia the 
town. The design of theinis^ry offerings suited my needs almost perfectly; 
I was ] p-jjl irnr» i i 1 y^ignorant about modern Europe, The Gymnasium in Wuerzburg 


could have been located on a timelislcnd i 

that refused to take 



cogniöjpice of the world since th 15th Century. The Hochschule in Berlin 

>/V\\_/^g1£l1_I^ /5^/gry not even 
of f ered nocoherenB"'''Efaini 


^ ^*^j -^^lu^t'^V avid «Wd indäscr 



ing EHEHxin modern Jewish history. Of course I was 
^ X^£ilew 

ate reader, 

,tiXL!tipL IUI UlbpctTdl 

. Was it all because of being persecuted 


Uli , ts 

6V^^/^ / ^ V'V^U ^^A 






cw ^^f. ^L\ (:-^, Ch- 



The three years I spent in Bern 

^ c\ vi(2a;'i . Vf *!c/ ll^lk>OiA^J 




.f^\ fxxHHdxwe^e the f irst period I was able to shape with some 

^ ^W clToiee»,/and it ceßiarnrre-d the pattern of my life invarying forms 
\yi ^ / - - 

^ Vi 7 At the core of my cultural liife lay xh läsiKkiK • ^ ^ • ^ 

synthesis of the secular European intellectual and emotional 

worlds that dominated my teaching, my reading, my research, 

my writing, what I tried to b- ring 'fo life in my profssuonal 

World, the music and art that have accompnaied my travels throu( 

several vibrari worlds of museums, concerts, theater .opera- 

the civilized worlds we were ablt to live in and kKip contri- 

bute in oi/r ways with so many non-Jewish as wikks Jewish 

Swiss, American , German, english-speaking, colleagues] ^ 

and studemts^the long row of aKHHgxHJfcqHKKSxthat we enjo^ed mee 

ting in Bern, New York, Berlin, as pxxxHiE fr^iends, students, 

colleagues, our modern world in all its fascination, contradito; 

boundlessness, boundaries, respect, disputations, disagreements 
gives and takes on many levels, many of them lovers of the 

freedom of the metropoleis like Berlin New York, or -^evüiT"-^ Be: 

>. . « 

Bern, thestimulation of teaching and learning at the 
universities I had been given hospitajitey , library Privileges 
faculty colloquia, collegial relations both in openness and 
intrigues, friedships and h - Q s fc t±]^ -,atx£ifc4 dQ^y sometimes 


suffering and aggrssion like at the^Gity College of New York, 

the second strain that emerged in the freedom of Switzerland: 
the fateful,existential burdehisome,dynamismof ^Jewish t)reugyb 
and action, Community and ethnic divifäianpi^xx divisions ,being 
on call before the Israelis 

arrived speaking Hebrew as a living Western-style European 



anguage oüt pf nghtclubs far from spirituality and 

its burdens 


the centuries. 


\ ^j'\'s>-'V'^-^^''i^ 

'^ i\(rU i/f 





^' /^MlA ] 


nv7'<"<i ^^^ ^ ' ^^^* "^^^ ^is^ '^^ the federal Fremdenpolizei meant noti^an 
\ V V only a shif t ^ ^trbsequentrr embodied in new liM« from cantonal 

\ lA^ ^'' ^"^ Community levels to federal >e-vels of executive power, 

^t also a ^ l owe « the Department of J>01ice considerable influenae 
U>n KKXKkxme political decii/ison-making^ y^ rrn-t-j fir^ rrmr jrfrrrtblc 



V,^ ^ 


H* 6()A^''v,'^ 


I ^ ^^ <2/^ «/» 

C /f «^0 

shapia^cabinet (Bundesrat) decisions on ^ohlf^J%'te 
Asylpolitik. Some of the most controversial measure*^^^^^^^° 



by the Bundesrat on Jewish refugee iiss«®s between 1938 and 1943 

originated in initiatives of Dr. Heinrich Rothmund, the 

Chief of tfie Po!ice Fepartment ( ntifHt-^irry^ ytom the mid-1930s t 

t^he niid-1940s, the crucial years. 

Of course, Swiss policies and actions durfeng that 

period need to be placed into the context ofNazi aggression 
in Europe and the sober view^ Swiss political and military 
leaders held of the irrationality and unpredictabili0t!y of 

Hitler's a 


I t 



literallyyrut the life-line that coinnected Switzerland . 
with its vital supply lines \; ^ y^lO b in i;fce Medit§rranean>^and th^ 
the Atlantic Ocean. I^ intelligence Services were said(after 
1945; to have iocurod Qcceog to /the top militaruy decision-making 
bodies of tt^ß THird Reich. With the realism of a small 
power and the experience of Nazi disregard of internationales!?^- 
^Sf^^S^li^x front iers befire their eyes,:^ they ha4 to be prepared 

to fend off a 

final suicidal Goetterdaemmerung unleashed by 


madman. ( -NuLe fini Schoe/papers ) . FoB-b-i7aTr~S^i-s^s- crirt 

war-time governments and policies häve jsxsiüKHfcÄiä scrutinized 

yei act ions and found them wxaH^XH^ falliSng short of the 

humanit.rian andx — liberal v/lues thad had 




l^f C,ft(,)/'w- 


1^/ /^ ^n-fr 



The ecavation itself (the "dig") could/ be^^completeddmring one 

somra er: the settlement had been small and of relatively short duration. llie 

"windcw of opportxonity" , f or iAxr work was given by the lowering of the . 

h \^^ (^\^^ cm '^^ '^^'^41 M4K ^f ^l^M 

water-level i^ the' lake (after threethousand years hxxhx ! ) p^asssissä^s^ tß ^ 

/ >Ujr '■ ■':■■. \y 

gain sotie dry soll to increase agricultural production during war-time.'flfe ar- 
tifac^s would decay fast v^en they were exposed to air, they were primarily 
"^^""■^^s^palaeontologists 'ät geologists had xfe 

established . . , 

i:<:a:j:-K<'Ä»:«):«r»:v :*.«:•! :v»:k*:4>>;#i4>:> 

the sequence in v?hich plant life had re-established itself after the ice had 
receded.Synchonizing our archaeological ^hronology (fgjrm history of stone and 
wooden artifacts across EUROPE) with the sequence7/we gained from the frequency 
gfxpg±i^ax^^^!g^--€;^I5-"^Be=^^ete3!mfifi^ the- presence-^! of the different pollen 
in subeequent strata <./TOiild yield independent (if broad) sets of chronological 
guideposts. Herr Flueckiger, the local experr .mapped/the groimd were he and I 

— ■ — tiX^tü 

would extract sanples of earth from differeüt depth^fleRfei%' therti'-and forward 
them to the labrafeDtcbees in Bem.lbE two months or so I helped with this 
procedure may have been the f arthest removed from the humanistic concems of 
ny life until then, send: would have been ^^ Tnost " gggyrs^-^yw f::^ if Lotte and I > 
did not haviPto worry about a surgical procedure she had to undeirgo in 
Bern Inselspital 


I could not be of emotional support^although I 
►iIV.5o kilometers away from Bern. The Swiss g^^ecodxDgist at 
:lal Whot 


\)W * j [ to accept «i^^feeVorllTis kejekx successful work^T 
C/ \,xi*'^ ^ ^-New York^ä'Beth Israel hospitgl4^7^--<;|^ 

perfomed the operar.cfaon (Prof^JJ^uweiler) refused 

^>v^rfy bDtth ^ 

xV F^ jgkaiJih" Lu Jane 

J^hi^v*-. /ig^^ daught 

(// ~(^'v'ö 



24 months later. . )«|jr artifacts I presumeXdecorate an ^^^i 
I i C r^ glass Vitrine irPEhe prehistoiy section of the Bern Historisches Museum , 


without revealing the unique iftvuiVtüfent of this "dig" 





I ^l'iAA'yiAt 












^ U' 

\ ^11 ^ U w^^^"^- ^ 

£?M-i^ (hv^^\^^^^ii/ 



^ o*^-^ 



fil^ti-Hcci* U\\t^ 

^^» \oo ^«'''4^«->'*'^ tot/ 



ii \^^^ r- • Since most refugees from Western Europeam c^i 

\ ' . . uf\ had lived in eitles or coemopfitefeaj like Paris, Brüssels, or 

i l TV 


s-^ V X 




Amsterdam; and had been shaped by decades or centuries of 



Urban living asd urban craft|* «^ö commerical occupations, 
*> I ^^ ^V they <^ra^TWH'^e¥^ suf fered-^g£»:-r"culturdshock" as they passed from 
C '^ thddeceptive comforts of their bourgeois homes ffiSäÄert abruptly into 

the sÄHhi-miJitary controls of camps^ 





i/) ,()-i;""y 

ested them 


-and-order -$ 

19th Century 
p.>--%h:e--CTT3:3reu Li v e / i TltTd'gTlg" "öT-'^^Tie 

frequently placed them into prisons. 

— che police tha 
Swiss democracy al^ through 

C^ yjv^kr^t^ 




the prison) .Th^ 

c l - Qsh o f 1 i f G s t y 1 - 

The-remembered comforts ofmiddle-class 


lives and the command schedules of a collective work day imposed on 

road crews and fieldhands - f locwed^^flTto one with tX^P^^^doxes 

a A 
of living in flight from police per^cution, the anrchy of home 

lessness and kxdxHg living at t)^e edge of an ab^yss that may ^evour 

c^^ o\\^\ \y<^ \^ii\i\^\ \ ,^. ;;^^^ X !^:- " -^^ 

its victimsKajid~jÄßy--jyiä9^ all the convf^ of^.iiormal ti#e, ?I?he 



199 0s ^ '\ Hryp^Cii' ' "-" " '■""' 

psskxjcHX debate/iabout 



the deprivation Jews^^uf fered in Swiss camps 

f cjir^police detention centers^or at the hand of Swiss authorities^^^-'-^Tr 


X^ni^t \ 





iginated with the pscyhological absurdity of experiencing 

i!^#re:eöoift^ inmidst /the slavery imposed on usby the 
f -i^>^@we^ I ao not know whether the SWiss police and / 
j military authorities could have found q^^fe-e^ ways to protect ' 





) their national security while maintaining their traditional über • 

JC ^ Mi, ality. WheÄ-X-studied the record bearing on Swiss policies towards 



refugees _- Jewish refugees in particular^ Eastern-Euroepean Jews in 
lparticulat^'T:rad:rt:±onal animosities against Jews app4ar — t rty ha 

a national establishment deeply concerned with 


'i » d .b u i 1 -^- -rtrg^ii-airre d a , Ab one or b 

wo social occasions initiated 


by fei low st udents I had becomrie aware that tlie New Testament 

as evidence of - , • 

as taken i?:Hx:fcaaisk tlie depravity of'tlie" Jews 


<r C{ i^ i^c^ lof 

fclie collective 

curse tlie passion narrabive liad laid upon bliem blirougli b}ie cenbu- 
ries. Bub I found only 1 iberal-ebliical bliemes in blie Sunday mornin« 




^ NjL n s p e e c j 1 e s ^i 
r small rai:rircr$;' :&xfaMxFrau Kurz and blie K 

aboub pasbors and Probesbanb clmrclies a 
and organizabions in Zuericli, Geneva, or elsewliere^ Language and 

socal barriers 

WaJtiL C^oU(^nM^^/; 

ViMT J L-t^ . M . ^ 


MM^^^ i 

'^ll'KV ^""-^'^ 


/ ^ 

. _ ed' -aä]i!7 liiiiiiri!.i!yji/ j udgmen t/ /[ I recognized brends and groups 
BÄÖ^f Images ol Jews and Judaism b* 

, modern sobrrieby and* liberal polibical önd inbellecbual 

in combab wibli f undamenbal isb bradibion^^ AI 1 our conbacbwS 
during bliese bliree years in SWibzerland added up bo b lie conclusio 



i^ Co, \)c\ky^^ 

bliab^wliere ±fc exisbed, anbisemi bism and socio-cml^ bural sbereobyps 
of blie Jew were survivals in a . liberal-democrabic commonweal tli 
from old^^alayers of blie <BBiwuaBnn experience, social and culbural 
reacbions bo Jewisli successes, blie j aoua l env y of bli 

disadvanbaged, compensabions for brue or imagine/d 

^UJi w 


peronal inadquacies - even among f ellow-sbudenbs ,^i 

^-p^ep-agwwte/ My Swiss ^f^rsl^^t^ds^r^^ 
friends, liowever few, I liad been privileged bo »»e* , blieAgpMd* 
\# J li l ^ HTra"^ndersbanding Coming across^from Police Officer Bruebscli 
Mader bo Heidi, blie sales 


j^'t' was blie essenGÄ„4i$^ ./ 

iöc^ i n Abegglen^s bakery — polibical 

democracy^ resb&g on a/rrlberal 

v\ VeK vii//\P 

eblios in everyday beliavior, 


. \ 

i sense of man 's riglibs agamsb con4:ols imposed from above 
and a sense of caring for wliab liappens bo your fei low iririn ^^>~th^ 

1^ I wa3 confronbed for blie firsb bime in my adulb life wibli 

a complex it^sAAMü^Ä inberplay of differenb levels of self-goverii- 

ment, ?f blie pJcgEgxH:£xis:kgxg±is:±xgitxjü te hc many ways in wliicli 

blie communiby - blie sbabe - drew men - as yeb mosbly man ! - 

inbo blie polibical process^ w^^^g^arde^ pTlmir inbegrity as 

/' . againsl: a 

buerqer and tlieir freedom Jinw iiiiw bureaucrabic sbabe bjiab/ 

just blien/in war- bime/ 
many felb cjrsMxjcHßiXhxgx was usurping boo mu cli of blieir 

lives. Differenb from wiiab I would become aware of in my 



• • 

flßu» /jf ^^ 

German liistory since 1871, 
liabits of obedience to 
SiÄZKÄXl^yKii^iÄX ^ rulers, clas^ses, armj^ feMS^JiSX^Si8§x*ÄxSÄltöaÄMXxxx| 

the Obriqkei tsstaa t liad bred 

i e s . «Hffi&Bliiig bureaucrats , gj^g; 


a religion of liierarcliies topped by sfcate-clmrcli links, 

I no w (^k^eÄECT^^fTTat formal democrcracy rested f*t«t;::a2?::^i*€rti, on #^ J 

& emotioiis .bliat: reaclied just as deep as fekÄ a3rt*FB^5=5=*^^M.Äj;i ÄJijkiilM^ÄÄxx 

^iSöiierns- Q# sub-ordin^tion b: Hf^-rrrm ^ i^r Lli ^ flfimocratlu uer s bnalLt^. 

Tlie liumanity of b^e. XBgflKMfir£Hi friends and acquaiantances , Jewisli 

and non-jewisliywlio had tffesspp»^ 'S© ranraT'Trn tlie end, liad lielped 

US to save our lives^liad to. asser ted agains t ^>e~"^rnsti tutions . 

I saw 
Now/)gemmuw< »^31 -nud responsibi lity for fei low liuman beings 

^ , liuman 

and aBBg.jplii p Q 4 t i.i ft£ Avalues aiigÄi4i«45^-powe^r anchored at tlie very core of 


the State" 

'-^'e'«^-4^{^etM&^i'f ^yv^-rittg . ^ovajcivHtefrt^ autliority 

u»45-4l ^tlie Word lost 1 h5=: mp;^ninrr in hlip AM^r^r*?in rmitext . 

^ j I -'■ ■ ^ — 

SLowly, tliis issue,Ä.t]ie conflict between man's rigiits and 
government power, man 's moral individual ism forcing iiim to act 
against tlie State, tlie guarantee of liis moral autonomy on tlie part of 
a State and its law in a democracy •— » tliistssue concentrated my 
political tliinking on Swiss government and ultimately offli its ^1^ 
in German politics.I cliose it as my dissertation topic in 194JT 


• • 


I ^t V --6 


It bespeaks my training at tlie riOcliscl mle in pliilosopliy 

and tlie lislitory of ideas tliat I was transposing my first 

' leav mg 

olitical insiglits after fcÄÄJtiMä Germany into an analysis of 

tpie ideas sliaping tlie debate in tlie Paulskirclie in Frankfurt^ »^^ 

n 1848 on civil riglits - freed^om to sliape government rtliougli 

tlie democratAc process, freedom ftom government infcrusion tliroug| 

iberal civil rights: wlien did German Po|^itics miss tlie 

pportunity to opt out of tlie Obriqkei tsstaat ? 

Naturally, liistory and experience did not sustain 

ritical euplioria Ä tlie e's'c 

tlie nearly unc 

s'capee from oppression. 

Living in Switzerland, internment or not, confirmed wliat had 

Berl m 
suffused tlieyJ Hocliscliule ts commitment to rational ity and 

Enliglitenment : i saw a functioning democracy, respect for 

tlie rights of man and for political rights, and I saw them anjsj 

sJL >v cliored in daily life, in human relations, in wliat I miglit liav( 

'^/^ ' c I J .called tlien the " instinctive" layer of public be}iavior, J/ 

(av^ ^oci^i^ . — ,-. : ! , ^ 

Pursuing the course of civil rights througli the .early moderri 
liistory of France and England would become a ?S2aaJi/i« fcksx ' 


, / 


l i 


" ^ a al iüjm" m>J -^g±x±±xKlcrHgg:3:Hxx social conflict leading beyondj 
loso phy . Werner Naef ' s two-term seminar on tlie subjecb spoJ 
direct ly to my interest on the hightest comparat iveKJnA 
insti tutional level.All my contacts tn Bern app ear ed to 
confirm my conviction tliat not only could the Swiss do 
no wrong - tliey also did ^BBSf tliings right, all the yrarts 

y J ^ W I . ■.! «IU P » » J H 

■^ ■Wii r n - 1 ^r^» 

i t P iPtU gtandinq tliat rouahed up ttre placid surface in tlie dai 

\^i tiiPt i U gtanding tliat rougl 
g ive-and-take of living 


Du li Ol o our o Q yiiiiii fc ka.^v;er^i^>^ar^Sejcti-V.a of th^ 
Q^i^apefkhat ÄÄifiXÄ^xÄXxXiÄX influenced what I saw and expj 

• • 

t±iat I 

had absorbed'.'Ounder the guidance of 

that uniqa-;e calssiscist, Ernst 

I • 'i ./ 

Grumach in Berlin ^o hadencouraged ny intensive readiing of Jacob 
Burckhardt Jjar4tisr^?Gationshi^ his colleagues 0\XerbecR^. ' Bachofen, MSe 
M^EtxsEiiK ÖD Friedr-ich Nietzsche, his life-long admirer/adversary ^ AWfihi^ 

\\ \ ß^'^'^i— -^^^^^ —-. ^1 ^^ ^ / ^ 

'^Yh ]b J'^ä/okT' A-a«d7^e cultQtal pessimism(|: had absorbed^ f 3^ Huizingäand Wrckhardt ' s 


■\ff xic^iovt 


i^ M iiiM -rmtmtm^' <mtmf mm 

Weltheschichtliche Betrachtungen , my|antI^Nazi ,§ua8c;.' te in Berlin^ 

and from Karl Loewith's materly Burck hardt biography of 1936. 

Those many sources of despir with niodemity had of course contrasted 

-.-^-- " \ r- ■ \> 

sharply with nr|? private /wer Id, my abundant health, the physical 

HKKK exuberance of the athlete, the hiker, feeligg his way into the 
wolrds of literat ure and thou^t, imisic painj^ings and 



that I had been able to make my emotional property. 
- — - Seeking refuge in Switzerland brought of cojirse a 

deep break into ray llfe, I had f led for sheer life,I had never 

bef ^ or( 



set foot on foreign soil, if 1-disregard vacations in the Austrian- 
Bavarian Alps in my childhood . li-did not consider myfe flight an emigration/ 
iinmigration process, probably during the first period more an exile. My 



"U - ^\^ 

later research and writing on emigration/ iinmigration (1960s to 1990s) 
convinced nie that the difference between the two social conditions 

was ba siC|but fluid ^and was expressed in behvior, attitude?, basically 



% ' 9^ the ideniity one ascribed to oneself or that one ' s enviironment - in 

»:<k'«:#: »:«:< :j:<i:««c«): 

the b|badest sense - ascribed to a person or a group. 
In a basic and rejigious sense, Jews had seen themselves as living 
in exile following the destruction of the First temple in 586 B.C. 
SRO by the Babyonians «Mthat of the Second (rebuilt) tertple by 
the Romans .in 70/71 C.E. The Hellenistic period had brought about 

considerable dispersion of Jews with the Ptolomaic ad Seleucid Successor 



V jp'^^^iCjj^.«^ j\%i^ A^ 





'^ i 

or because 

f iat with 

my ed fcation Väd been aborted by n^ Nazi 

conscious of having f illed 

Vy^ OvM 

* ^r 

uhi^c (McU- \^ et \f 

the tenths grade, and while I was 
in years of reacTing.äÄd theater^ 



l ;' '< 

' äffKä raascic ^a monumont c and v\^atever other sources of information are 


available , 

/ [^^stp. '^tronq^""^ 

fei . :■ 
with i 

my curiosity and my appBlfllfejiy^e f or Vn^l^ge 

was g 



information vlesse the, accidents of m[y life and my^^^x^tt y-edoca 





had f illed a'Ahad been aware of my 


and hadicaps but I ^:^k^ ^ Co 


Gonnot judge how mycondiion conparaed to that of my peers.) Did my sense of 



lacking cohesionor maybe of havingu several incrhplete runs of cohesion in 



my life and education resemble the confusion - or parochialism - ±h noticed 
, /7 in others who h#d enjoyed a/complete run of sbhooling ? I have stood before 


C a vvulf X , 



enogh classrooms on two continents /\to stop pitying myself ^ I might have been 

^ /| . j_ bunglers who 

one of six mil^ion, dead or of f ifty millisomrfKfcoasx victims of the glorious 

V*^:%ft slaughter ^ m^ f ti e. i ' n » ' ^ c exJV " 
ed overTthär sixj^^teaqöüQc '.i may have survived with tl^ luck of t 



»^Mixf d/)Q ^^^"^ 

tt J Now it was again my luck, that I foundi^a universalist 

A ^ \,\Xp^\i^l V. rt 1( historian who was innocent enoughf^zdbae^ to ask the big questions and stai^rt from 
ff ^ Ju. IB^if .^ ^ point he saw as starting point,^ I neeä^ to leam v^at he cx)ld teach, fxH» 

O l/U i'c -f /^^- rationally and deliberately^absobmis mehod s and iiiwiü'e liiudcJU) v\Äiat I -sr'teBÖ lea 
tvi% /\jJck/%ip ^i örtö-^feöagxäxfeHx kgga8ffaäxkögiK..j E Q rwa£ d# beyond his^'teii'Eations to my own synthesis. 
A 1 1^^ » *t y^ irie ' goal ^pe to under stand v\*iat had happened to produce the great catatsrophe 

that had leaped over us, the context, the actors^the structures, the Images and 

n L^ 

lies, our own small group in the cotext of world historyfln a very basic sense, 

Y^ \v^ 

^ * Si *^ *t C 

my life had begun w hen 1 reached.a/iSs soll at age 25, n^L-icitellectual life 

my moral pe^E^s^^ the tragic sensei> a sfense oM despair over histor^^ .and the K^'italit:^ 



\ of^^^the-su^vivi 

r*% I 1 11 ».iii ■■ >■ 


( \/> >(^ ^^^ C^- "^^ 'J'^^- * 







v(\<*»l '^ 



y()ü ui^xi^o/ 

AV .1 

I M^» 



Budapest Jews to sHXx±>flgx escape Nazi deportation to a death camp by 
providing them witfibajments placing them under the protecton of the 
Swiss gover-nnient-^ against the Law-and-order directives of his foreign a 

Office ( I iTiet nnrl m 1 1 i ii i i r l f Ul i Wn i i ii i ^7""?^^ — ' ' ^""^*^ ^ 

hk "6rr< 

rhi^ visl 



y^^J ^ ^^'^"^ ^^^^^^^^^^ f^lr -^'' ^ "^^^^-.^ ^f!^^^ ^^ People" in a award ceremony in Bern 

/ Kornhausgasse 

thh "äfregularity" of Consul Lutz' activities • . • ) Our ccnversat- 

ion during this aftemoon in Bern was far fron the triunphalism and the 

crude opportunism - psychologicsl and f inancial - that often characterize 

^^aaA CLiMt^^ today -" \^al\<u^^ 

debate^on the subjeob^' It was as if Vr:^ style had been shaped 

by 1*ie~fee^5?*K--I LülMlilDyied SraRj his father . de hf^m inft te. the saine 

quiet dignity when the Israeli Remembrance " Authority" Yad Eashem 


"Ofg ioial ü ^iusbr 

T^ RS 

;vi,fU^ ^^^ 





>0^ .vv 




>sible- in 4943 . Vfer had - Üie hunui — of — aLLunainLi 
th enooromoRy ia DEr>» ia 10p O i. itlöpk place ine the same pubfc^court room £7 
rQ£m that had seen tiiäswiss court proceedings against the antisemitic 
forgery "Protocols of the VTIse Men ofZion" J^A ^^h ^ 
-^ ^t iT^y sound soinewhat paradoxical to identify these two 

areas of study, Semitic philology and minor subjects in pre- 

paring for the doctorate. 


Tschuini?t^iHh(5r.yeriyFeller, and the unfailingly pleasant atnosphere surroünding| 
contacts _with the university acininistration as itexkHKHKXHXgExiHHKKxxtfcafcc 

suppport the warm feeling, the favorable pre Judice, with which I viewed 

not only itexkxsfaaKXK nature and culture but also the Swiss people i 

caroem contactwith. I^fead-fe«!*^ tie^^ö^ the generally laid-back is^ 

the hirnian contacts with professors Widiner, 

i ' • - 

'' '/ defensiveness,ra|sb^.siBiKi the slow and soinewhat introvert way of people 

^''' "•^■''^iKBemin'reactinato7ll£;i^'.'T^'-^lAifL' ^0 ^> ^ ..... %, 

^olSniiiy i^.-SxxmxNS^Vi3^al ties with the Jewish community In v^.ich i 
■. •• . riu had grown up xn Wuerzburg and^BerÜH^should hmTe^^feR-ffie-Ällngl^ilexil 


-1 > 


* » 


All in all, the courses I took in ray minors and the lectures 
I ^sa±- in Swiss constitutionsl history, modern historic/writing, and 
Gerinan literatmre broadened my SS^-öa^fetCn ^ hiiih r mny - jjlga g ui u bl e 

'-new horizons, Since I understood ikK 

and the 




and appreciated the generally laid-back, introvert ways of rny Bern fellow 
students anÖ had little itiore than shop-talk contaat^ \!., _ - - ^r; — ^ r.r^ the 
corridors between classes - I had little^^ 4d»« <isr eit&oi^ ef forts to *?g| 
break down their in-group oriented socia^ility a and v^iat I feit as the lan- 
^age harrierlv^:i^--^-^ Z - w- > -::• -'3 Ä'jy^/^G\.l, a^^^^ r^^d- i^rvy-— e /l did not ^eel 
i±iat I missed anything in human contacts^during the f0rst year or two 
vdien the sense ofEKbeing an "outsider" might have^Deen mo^ 




,, it^ ;^ ^1 ^^ fcbe 

if I had not thrwöee nyself with concentrated ei^ergy into rry studies# 

^ I nmrtured that sense of havina to make up ^at I lost when I was taken 
0^^ ^^^i^l V ' out of the Wierzburg C^mmasium pr ^:esii;ms^^ä^^^s^q "ausserordentlicher H 


^^^^.Hoerer.athkthe Berlin HodTLSdiule, a would be "Kibbuzni)c" among the .bourgeo- 
sie of future 'ÖS&d^Loßarres in» suits and ties.Maybe tte fli^?t/\in Nazi' ' 

Germany had given me f atrestless sense of 

"* Sg tinfc .In addition, I 



^i marriea aurmg iry tirst semefcer m ^jc^ i feit pushed by the police injunction 
to leave Switzerland as early as possible, i wanted to leave and seettle down 
before oiar child would be bom, I needed to feel self-sufficient after 
so many years on scholarshipj - viiatever the psychoögy, i even suspected that 

/ f r'cuYSf / 0^\:r[^ '^"'■^"'^ law-studemt we met at several parties in earl.-y 1946 had takn it on 

iVv Ol »• 


/- / lifff^^^^^^^^^h^ remind us that we were expected cbo leave the country.I feit too 




our history was to extraordinary to wait f or a HkKKH^s in 

Swiss refugee policy and f iness my studies until they would accept me 

Ly^2^ Eli^lklf ^^^"^^ n\L/ 

( as I saw sCTWjj i tl refugee friends do after 1945/46) . 




fnDecember l, 1943 Jl signed out of labor camfe Sierre 




and e nter ed free Switzerland, barely 5 months after 
Crossing the frontier: I had been accepted as a matriculated 
full-time Student by the Philsosphical Faculty 
of the Univers(|[)ty of Bern. That the Canton of Schaf fhhusen 
and the Federal Justic and Police Department in Bern had *■ 
admitted me as a "refugee" - Fluechtling from Nazi Berlin, 
had saved me from deportation and death, probably in,, a 
mass execution pit near Riga where about 700 Berlin 'Jews 
of the"22. Osttransport" were ignominously machinegunneci to . , 
}\ death upon arrival .Lotte and I would have been am 



> 5 

w h^^' 

We learned only after nore than half a Century how we would 

have ended cur livesi 
^Jaoifeaü-fey- of this mass 

I had fought and repressed the- un 


for Switzerladd being tjiere in this greaes^|: hour of 

our heed, and that we /a!«ö^»ä/(i '.^.. üiT 'Bern and the 

men and women on both sides of thts border who^"if=i^ risked 

so much for us -^ as^ Jrhp emot io nal oorg^ 

Qf-,4b tir now — iA 

lurA f eeli 

- 3urvive t l >^s ^ pale reflection of 



|/U4vjce ^ol^cj: 

%he xKXJfcxHi ei^horiä\pf our sucessful escapes 
into a life-longi^n^e cSf connecte^ess ev cn 'whni 

j^rrHW th^ had marked 3 U/i^xj 
the count^ that had become J ä--v ' /Home^TTo üs ^ö^w^jI after we had 

the failures 

'e anp f 

1 lii r^t ^^^^^^"^ 

• I 

• • 


and ej^iriofta^r w arnuLb even less well meaning and civilized 





policemen than the Wwiss who had arrested her when.'^ehshe crossed 

V^e» ?;c/ w^ ^ the frfontier six wefekfe earliery xxxhx Xbxsmkixx In addition, 

the State (cantonal) police officer who had contact with 


Lotte when she arrived was the same man who fiS^ ferocessed me 
ix in prison and who had dictated toS Lotte ' s uncle and aunt 
his savvy and detailed Instructions for me to beat the 
German aurveillance System at the frontier . .The police blotter 
idenitfying me as her "lo/ver" (rather than her "fiancee»? as woul 
have been the custom among respectable people) must have I^ Jry^S SF! 
tneSchffhausenfpolic* KÄ»iifiHÄi* fToF''s8ffe time^ Clearly, cur 

behavior and distinctly middle-class character, in conjunction] 
with Lotte 's uncle obvious affluence suggested that WKxiffHMidx 
HBifcxfeKxiRiKÄgM»ißM« the ^i^reotype of the impecunious Jewish 

from Eastern Europe (a long-stnding Swiss prejudice) 
did not apply. On cur third day in prison we were asked to 
sign an applica:^ion to the Police Department in Bern (bo be grant< 
refugee Status (^j^ not to ]^e sent back to Gerfeany] . 

\ srt — bho t r im e^sihce i aia 

I did not feel 


not know -the-s^-jci^^eufflst^tn^^, We had been warned that in mid-194 2 
July-Sep.tember) the SWiss federal g^brnement hadjsuddenly tightenei 
the rules for the admission of Jewish refugees, and that we were 
facing the real danger of being turned over to the Nazi frgiTXS^ 
police if we were caught close to the frontier. And I had nolt 
known that the federal government in Bern had activated an old 
Provision for the admission of foreign students/and extended 
it to war-time refugees in September 1942, a few months^^-arft^r our 
arrival. I had not known - and not known for a long time - that 

* • 


tiie post-war discussii^on and tliepubl ication 

even if ^xkm before 

of government sources /a gah liad openedj beb ween m}c M&mt 

■ ' * . « ^ 

tlie tlie civility and integrrity, even friendsliip and'f'i^ ^' 

Intel lectual world T lived in at tlie universcDty, and 

tlie smootliness of face-to-face politesse among strangeirs, and 

tlie ugly steryleotypej|fs , t he narrowness ,ähM and vil lage-pump 

invidfousness one sensed in att^tudes towards Jews tliey 

trfifllitionally saw astlie "otliers": clearly, tlie Geneva patrician 

wliojliarrassed Lotte in traditional. master-sejrvant terms t^sb 

irepresented K^^ tlian a/isriitg^re aberra tion . Who liad been tlie peopl 

wlio would not take two young women like J^hmmjä Toitzke and L 

Ruth Basinski under their wings ? sewiitA^'them back to Gestapo 
control near = deatli only a few montlis earlier in 1943 ? 
Were tlies^e aberrations fi:om| tlie great tradition I began to 
stdy in courses and Seminars at tlie IJniversity and experience irj 
abundantly in our personal lives? Tliey could not uhderstand 

tlie Ädeptli 

from wliicli we liad to extricate ^oursel J'.f^}^ 

. -f 

Was tliere in Swiss personal itiees a dif f erent/)ation iiijo exytrei 
attitude^^r was tliere a common ma trix wliocli wouold exp^lain 
wliat unified tliem ? 


' » 


a t BeTTir^n ' s 



before we bot! 

fclie cou 



I liave previously described tlie 

-s f of— a c t i QJi tliat now, on Noveraber 

30, 1943 allowed me to leave tlie world of camps less tlian 
six montlis after T liad fled across the f rontier ^ Lookning back 
Kt^Q ^^ßifO(jff experiiences as T travelled fclie bireatli-takinglyu b^Ä^ui 
beautiful Loetsclibeirg railyroad(^ <^SgClk Nortli toi Bernl 
ixsKKXMjcxKi:^ ixXÄ»88fe8Jc85ixi£kxSMÄ«X^MSjfexMxßeing yconfined »i 

t narrow space< 

/and F^vn ig un f^Qy ^^ i^nfipo i ^ o c l ti 

me sch§dules, l^^^^x 


witli neiglibors not: of yy(our own clioicem^d — f r oo--^w44-J: — ^gjiSgx 
Xüfi^kJksxjX^began to weigli ligliter tlian tlie friendsliips and 
tual/ a-rci X7^ — i üiiü e j . cd gqgIi - '' '' " " 

tlie mu 

tlie newly uncomplicate 

emotions 1 feit for l^tte,tlie sense of havi,ng enteired 
feiSM an enviro nmentftliat T could rÄj.Ätte::±:ö witliout tlie 
caution and defenssive vigil ance tliat liad been my life 
under persecution, m kxHdHKXSxaHäxHpsKHSKSxkfiXKcjxEXKsp^xßiMKxxx. 
Ki5:ÄkKicxJckaKXRiKi5:i:sxi€H±KlKKiix. .Tliis feeling of rel ief ,xKßiK:£±MsMJ 

kh:jcx, of living ina friendly not a liostile environment , of 

agax ii-'tT)\ ^ 
gaining a peirspective on tlie time aliead , of |^ct?w4-tt^^ in py = 

p andna OTirloo the"master«tf my own tim^, my hxh life, 

tlie sense of depenmg on nobody but my own resouirces/ 

almost adolescent in its exubeirance at^d unreality - -^ 

it penetrated my feelings and my perceptions of SWitzerland, 

tlie landscape and tlie people, even if t^ae tliree ^'ears of k^t^r 

living in the country suggested »»JcSxicgMÄSMiSxSX^JcJiSMRMS: 

SSSixSl*M§«8«iii*iiS^}iJixg i:eatej:_^ii± 

to^i f^V^Mi^ 

» c^ 

At midnight on JUn0U3, 1943, I walked straight into JiJiq 





si^rWr^TS^ a-^m±—iritär:/^ guard hidden in the half-/ . 

shadow of the forest t hat mark e d tttErfe«tiÄft^^=^9:f^S¥i=t5ft ^ ; 

beHP;^i4a-ry^ Although his uniform reseml^bed the German in its 


gree-fgrey color, I_k: new i-nctanblj t\\a^ he had to be Swiss: his 
Steel helmet sat flat on his head , digirii^^-e44^^:--ja4-ff^€ ^ont fr etn the 
pot-like German government issue. With isätof^ f ield glasses ^(7u) 

dangling from his neck, he mus^t have 

US )as ooon ao/^g had left-^feESi cover ot the G - Grm^ 


through th g^-rP J 


no-man* s-land^j^^t==S#i 
in Schaffhausen Canton. 

,north of the Rhi ne river 

Being stopped by SWiss authorities only a few y ards across 
the fnaR:kisx frontier ^fmoH ^y t-]^p f^ 

b^^g far Swiss friend in Berlin/ and Lotte 's relatives 

in Lausanneorhad warned us -2b§-a^Hfti5t. Since September 1942, Swiss 
regulations had eje cljxdo ' d k Jewi sh' fugitives ftj 




ß.^^\\A/*^ / ^-j--*"' a..^.a.^wx.i ^v^xx.vj ui V* ^^-^xu j. L. u ^ vu K. ^ ^^ KHUK^x^ cantoH (rnembe 

tiieA Fremdenpolizei ( Alien Police, Ber 

'Y/ic*;^ c^'l»r wt^ !tV In 1942/1943, about 34.000 fugitives, primarily Jewish, had been 

Vi LI 

^c\^y\^"^^^'] * Jreturned by SWiss authorities across the frontier. We did not 

ili ^ ^^ f Wqw at the time that a close friend of ours, a young Berlin 

1, ii- cc \^w »^'I p*** ^^, 0. i. u . , ^^ iVv'Nva , 

^ n 1 r'Kindergarten teacher, and her guid^e h 

ii ^ 1 . crossing the Swiss-Alsatian frontier ay night and returned 

.ad beencaught after 

by b l/\l i^;;j LrL-j::^ [ A o i^oi 





/ / 


W oiA^c^y;xe^f 



rj^%44tt:fi:e^^ teil— >fe I re -f a^t is/r^ F r encTT-^TTewTsIi c^rap±e — ^ 

that had been persuaded to, surrender to authorities after hiding 

a4 o^^^jix^^i>^^^ ^'^"^^"^^Cß^irdTi 

of Swiss 

out in a Bern c emetery ^wseas^ deported from the bü 

itory^to ^h & i r— ^^a4>hy^^in Eastern Europa .ti ^ the Gcrm i ^n p o l i ce >- 
r-e~-ar^-^-ei>o^r-t-s— tfet the Swiss population^protested ypriPTriRnt-ly 

against the deportation of fugitives by the SWiss police 


t ^ G Ge r man Swi & s fr o nt i 

5[$^l4xx report on swiss refugee policies \ ^ ^i 



by aN " tndsependsent Expert Commission" established bj' Li^g 

governmcR» In the l a ite 1990s a lso d e4-^J.Xs the sadistic treatment 

at the hands of a police official 
and i^fcS^fei. deportationyjof Jewish refugees in the Canton of Geneva 

in 1942/43^ ^ was brought to trial and sentenced to a jail 


QnsgrcQoion «^/^ 
Our Swiss friends and advisors , Lotte ' s relat ives 
living in Lausanne and a friend of theirs, serving as a delegate 
of the iNternationjp^lCommititee of t4.h Red Gross (T?eT?5^c^in 
Berlinwere fc ledr ^ i? awareof tfa c da n g or of b etrfg returned to Germany 

if we were st opped sHHRxaliÄXXKJkrHSXXRaxHxsr . tooclose to the 

/'i 1 SS^tk lV/9h ^U^J. - i^ ^a<^^/J ^li^ 

f rontier . The- regulation de^yi^ig Jewish fugitives asylum w as 

still in forceJU^^Qty itrirtfe-^ted ^or "hard ship " cases. T 

ar^Sg ^Wiss psx±±KK of f icials J\especially tdre^ in 

of f icials T\e 

cantoms where thepressure of Jewish refugees on^-^t^re — f ronti^era^ 

had^been greatest 


the Jura, i^^ Geneva , ^^;^K the Valais,^. 

depended on individual judgments whether to admit a 

fugitive or send hirn back* :\(^^r\ j^^r^^^exa^\ rh \ npihrnn^pH T.ntte and 

me tc/ bring home to,.-^"he man arresting us near^-tfie frontier that 

we fled 

pur lives:"If you want to sß-nd us back to Germany, 

'.{ *t I ■'• 






* '' t I». 

^ ^ ^^ 

M'^^^te- /HJUpa^i 




American Jewish charity - the Joint Jewish DistrF>_ 

±)Ution Committee -had been permitted to overcome war-time 

government concerns Sö»ö« that US WH±ärs dollegrs might support 

the Axis war-effort ^^^ transferfänds for persecuted Jews to 
Switzerland.Some of these funds wäre earmarked for Jewish 
students in Switzerland. m a minor way,I also got off the 
Swiss gobernment's expense account. The Jewish Community in S 

Switzerlapd had agreed to cover the expenses of Jewish 

refugees OftAl Bern government alllowed in for temporary resi- 

dence ^HxxKäMKKxikKX^ ; but the original agreement had to 
be abandoned when that minuscule Jewish group, half of whom 

ants themsejves^had been cut ( 
ufepcjrt Kwheh Washington" impHBEi 

had been recent Immigrant^, thenjsejves^ljad been cut off 
from American-Jewish s 

KKipHBKäxx imposed 

severe restrictions on the transferf of US dolllars 

j^ ^ ^ X" 

to Continental Europe affer Pearl Harbor. The abpt 6 00 """"^n 

refugees that were allowed to leave internment campsin J942/43 
and enrol in Swiss institutes of higher learning or in 
advanced trade school ( Fachschulen) ecnii^ — be funded by 
Christian or Jewish denominational charities or by ~-festablished 

Student aid agencies set up before ikK Nazi foreign currency 

restrictions had 3;«s«rxKl:sd foreign studyxtKxaxaioaikixprixiäged 

a priviiege for the fswxxas affluent few. 

Whatever the- political and f inancialVrontin- 
gencies, or theresidua^-^thical considerations that had Vlayed 
a role in-Myxxei^«^ the survival of the f^ escapees from\he 
Narzi charnel ^use- reaching free Switzeirland — 

Travelling from the Rhone Valley through the 
LOetschberg Tunnel over a breathtaking tracks pssi tp Bern 





Volume JI - memoi 
Begun: Fall 1996. 
eface : 


il\ p- V \;,\Jh^i 



' When I began writing down ahwt I remember 
of my childhood and youth amäxfcha, the first 25 years of my 
life, Idid not write with a view of pub;li. h ing the extraordinrae| 
lary events I had rto recodord (Tnl990r T had iuast passed my 

72d year when I lefrt Beer] in 

and wlthdrew 78(^xysarxwkKHxixiHef t 

rom all public commitments - at last and for the first/ tlme i 

^^^yj^_}j:^.since T FAD STUDJFn AT THF Hochschule fuer die 

WissenschaFT DES Judentums in Perlion without aiscAiedul 

' A 

e to meet. 

an hour to be pu^ctual at, a preparation for tomo rrow, a 

speaking assignment in a publ; ic space from cla^ss room to lecture| 
hall to official functions invol^ving me or oth/ers. 

I HAD BEEN BURDENED signif icantly by the publ.4« climate 

in Germany - not so much the ;:old Nazis who never had a Chance 

' ' ' I r>r/^ 

and whoi^ ixhaäx were no match A-th all the crimes sticking to t 


fH^sxxx bruised ego^ , the clandestine qua lity of their ■s^-J^k^- 

^bnderground and>rnutual aid organizations : I esq^d/moed it vtei 
IrVtte's old frisTd Kfcr^SBFf^ tainted by a jail sentence for per Jury about his S 
SD ^past ran across our bowin his new in^®ai^ion as a dealer in 
Nazi militaryu jjiinsignia or Orders for which he travelled mysteriousl;ty to 
LATIN America to see - WFOM? No doubt his änd his wife's old croniesf ^^ 
had had married a daughter of an SS general and we nper talked bout t heifcr 
past,bedrag|[ic|ed as th eyseemed to me an^d living in lower keys as 
they did theior,^ordid iSimödT'^^'^ " 

IT WAS NOT THE Nazis I met - and I met very few who would even o^ 
up to their belief s- in Berlin in my eight yjears.In o4e semionar only ione 


Cfuite proper and clean-shaved gran dfather sat for one or two 





terms, without letjrting on t hat he had been and st^ill was a true believer 
in the dfircsredited faith^At ^the end, he brought a boy along, probabally 


around 13-16 years ild,, and \presented his arg^iojments against my presentatioi 
of one or maybe two yearsLibefore the bDy., bel^boring me for iny work and -tfi/ 
the Contents of the seminar. He pathtet|iically flitted trholugh as if all h V' 
he had said was already obsolete and answered. Noboday tpok noi^titve of bi^n 

hiin^ It was all so dead, Another time we had a vi(6sitore in^office hourjp 

brought in by one of the young men - small in stature, a round 

face, thin grey hair but a ruddy complexrtion . He identeified himsela^ 

as a former Gesrtapo mepber from the BUrgstrasse amt and talked about his 

post-war prison and court htistory - in the middle of the conver sati on heg 

feil right down before us, lengthgwise, skillfully - the fall was an act he] 

hge-^said he had often priact/ c&d in his post-war trials to i Adi cate 

^mcon^^etence . • . . 

\\\ ij\i^ 

Other traces were itiore insidiuous and wider s0pread - most clearly ainong 

a typist at the office, a good person with an authoritarian per- 

ssonality, power through Service, totajjy loyal to me the boss, 

prejudicedwhere it seemed permissible, from a family of Nazis and 

a fatherhigh up in the hierarchy of Nazi sports medicine - b-xrt^ divorced f«i®m 


her mother 

early on in her life.lier two uncle lawyers known for 

solid Nazism after 1933 - I did not meet them. 

I could give some more examples - but they wotuld noftt matter to my poi^nilit 

and confirmed my utfier disdain, the old cfldisdain reaching way back to 

my early teens. 

Ii\ 1^ «,-r''\C'-r<:> Nazism had-become/ verbal inmsults t hey fc ^ought, revisions of 
histyory, denials of the holocaust - the German parties were extremely and 
as it seemed to m,e excessively sensitive to words and Propaganda. 
They built up^ an elaborate e€»?t sysrtem^to deal with the Auschweitz LUege 



^^>^^ J^yiA^l^^^,^ 


and used laws against defamation when a survivor took exception to an 


insuJLt with an antisemiotic overtone. Much eff^rt was expended, the pollticians 

knew that the use of any of the vuljtgar proverbs or phrases that adomd 


the Gerinan löaiUge (like to Jew A MAN IN Engiish) wouild have disas^ous conseque 

(Xs- ^ 


for any pubpic figure,it was sanitized into confidenttial buddy behavior 

where it all caitie out, maybe wAith greater strength for being tabooizec^''^ 
everywhere else^ That the language had been ja ie i'e; L heie was little 



In the jewish communityu I was prettry much alone with a^ch 
cavalier moderation and detachement . Early on in my Berlin time I had 
aSKED Heinz Galinski, the presidenmt of the Juedibsche Gemeinede pnd an 

/" upright fighter againsty any and all indicidents hßwever snnell sine 

"we had to fight the bneginnings, that was t^ way it had started then..*;) 
J/ to join me on a panel I-ha£> 0RG7\N^^ g) ON THE USE OF THE COURTS IN|^ FIGHTING 
ANTISEMITISM in the BUndedsrepublik, I presented the position that the 
institutions like schools academies, newspap^peris etc the Jews should 
be able to fight t hese things off without the iburts - are't we strong enough 
for that ? - and Galinski berated me for \fna.t he saw as rny naivite- 
"you are a typicl American '^! . . . 

Th^at of course ws the survivor Syndrom aitionÄ post-^war Jews in GermaNY^ 
They had come or stayecV-^By 1982 when-iTiTat^-c^fle mhey included ref^ugees from 
Chile, Israel, POland etc, in adition to the dwindling no. of survivor^ f^> 
1^ ihe holocaust tfeat determined attitudes as outspoken pillars of 


bljfsikting aNY 


call to reason as a political error: he had i^to keep the pressure up to 

sto^ the beginnings, the congregar^^^n ' s public stance rested on frighteneinn 

everybody with the iinminent danger he Galinski and his followers.saw 

U»^J*^f i>\ »'t/o 
threaten Jews in Germany - and the fiscal ©references they had been 

granted over more than 25 years of political work. 


My friends, literallY the friends of what T was called upon 
to do -research on antisemit ism - defined the atinosphere in which I was 
perceived and had to move. I did all that was requested and expected of 
meija in and out of the euniversiHxty - and protecrted iny integrity 't^tSirj 
which rested on my distance from the apologetics of this paranoid world and 
my insf ^iatence on treating my problem as a scholarly problem in need 
of social sciencve tei^minofl/ogy (like prejudice psych and social ,fervre7em 
ana;lys(9is)beyond the customary historical and history of ideas treatmentj 

Still, I found my free dem of moveent retsrjficted by my friends 
and tgheir construction of theatmosphere< J found myself bertween two atti- 
tudes thAT jfcLTMITED FREETX)iyi OF THOITGHT> The tendjferminded liberal-radiical 

reaction to antisemitic incidenmts from verbal to physcal was jjj^ 

i j ^ 

jalarxmi^^ I do not believe that they saw an imminent danger of a Nazi teake- 

over - their public imAGE AND POLITICAL CX.OUT RESTED ON the beliefe that 

German public ethics rested on the Republic doing its best to make 

amends t o ^the iairvivors of the Holocaust. This clout was used also 

at times v\^en Jews f<J[elt disadvantagj^ed or groups of Jews had violated Ijfaws 

as eg in DP confrontatipn with the police in Münich over residence privi 

leges or blacj( market activities . Even in Berlin in the 1980s 

I sensed at times that the survivor staTlJS and the outcro^^ings of antfi- 

ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS had become a protect6^e s^hield useful to ward off 

Problems not related to them. 


liberal-radical-socialist youth and religiously idealistic and ethically 

sensitive youth supported this attitu de convinced that they had to 

react energetically to all outcroppings of antisemyic vulgarities, 

in part simplyu becaUSE TF^EY WANTED 39ffi C^erman post-war public decency int 

intact. For some, especially in the first generation of the Bundesrepublikc. 




Being sensitive to Nazism also helped to place oneself on the 

side /of liberalism^ democracy, or socialism - they blissfullü taught about 

the criiies of their fathers a nd found escapes from the collecti ve guilt they 

wfcGKx^xsHKkxHsj ascribed to their fathers , Tt reenforced thq**idological and 

moral pSkositions^ they had found that the traditionally Gernen father-son conf lic 



conflict could be brought into play. 

The r^esult was that sympthizers with the cause on the libera] political 
sideacted with force to incidents^ especially verbal slurs, that they must 
tiave been well aware of a part of the ■mtent )04ggage o^ pre judice inherent 
in Ttiost European languages. 

Conservarives, on the other hand^denied thet antisemit^ism, was 
still part of German folklore, and proiected iinages of normal cy and 
Order ly public life.This appeared to me not incorrect- of course, the 
collapse of a regime doe^ not chaNGE THE MENTALJTIES ANTD THE FOLKLORE of 
Christian society. To acknowledge this was difficult for many whß harbored 
only superficial insights into vv^at had been wrought by a govemment 
that included a inajority of conserv^rvesEBSCote in the Reichskabniett who had actua! 
V \ (^liited HItÄer and his party into positions to destrpy the Rep^ubccic:^ and 

'"^""""^ ultimately conservatism as well.My Moral sense was with the liberal side but] 
my mission to i^nt^roduce scholarly methods into the understan^ding 
of ant(j)semit}^ism could not be reconciled with with the attitudesthat had 
made the liberalr altert in the first place. I CONCLUDED THAT Germany was not 
the place to do what made sense to me - dK>a5±H^x apply the social scicj^ence 
methodology to antisemitism ^B^ a form of general prejudfice with unqiue historic 
content and invol.vmenent in^LsÖtJate the factors that tumed ideas into actions 
pnd acti.ijfivists into movemenmts. the historic images of t he Jew and its environme- 
spport as part o fthe analysis.Detachement in the study of antisemitism could 

not be achieved in the country that had perpetrated the hiolocaust. 



wd_thout IchHx stricy controls of the moral revulsion t hat wouoo unavoi- 
dablty become part of dealing v\? the distsatefyul and revolting 
brew of despicable emotions at the bottom of antisemiyic thought. 
You had more difficulty being detached and movingl)! research from the 
anecdotal tp the controlled ans comprehensive^ the co^mparatitive and the 

structural \\\ a coiontry that offered the most gniesome exainple of the breakdown] 
of ciwilizATION TO WHIich antisemitism had led. Only in Jerusalem, in the modern 
scholarship groups as opposed to the orthodox and the low-brow you met in every day 
/life there, did they know that with all due respect for the survivors 
tand their asufferings, one could not build rational policies on one- 
si^ed understandings of reality - ands certainly^the holocaust cut deep into 
the sobrieties of what scholarship had )f"to be if it went beyond Journal ism. 





FcJ^' /)l*''"^^Ai- 

memoirs my wife Lotte and I s«t downi^^srjf« 
published in 1997/1999 set down what we remembered 



W GrCvj V\A Ö\VV 


had become a 

<W^ ^ 


. »»«■'^■- 

ersonal storyy- 
' ~ the 

:a irfs" 

about u^ur youth^v^ 

a love story^ I had tried to 

t K S" t ^ ^ {2 ^ n ^ 

culture V^hat had shaped ^-^and %^ society |uLd-^-h-a^(ON^.J 

sustained us until i^ wes destroyed, the German Jewish 
Community in its last years, from its flov/ering in the' 

Weimar Republic to its persecution and destruction in 
tK> M f A \^ Y>if the Holocaust. We had been f orced ^nderground^^rhen the 

i^ U^ 5^} l/^^^^^^i^° ^^^ come to deport us to Eastern Europa. and had 

lived seven tense and dangerous months in war-time Berlin, 

from October 1942 to May and June 1943. That we succeeded 
in fleeing -(ß \^\ ^ki^ 

iÄx:£iÄÄxto Switzerland will forever be a moriiumi^-t" that there 

was more than one just^^in SoJdom: Lotte 's uncie and aunt in"^-.. 

Lausanne and th eir Swiss contacts ^f riends and acquaintances 

in Germany, <?ld and newv Christians and Jews, young and of maturel 

age. The network created for our rescue would assist a score 

of fripnd .s and -acx^ ua.i n t-a m:^ei5 in Berlin to reach safety, almost 

like an "Underground railroad" of antiNazi conspirators directed 

from Switzerland. We mour 

many, parents, relatives, -fri 

f ri ends^ ^*f*^^i-««*5.QüJ.-d_not_b^^ . 


We have always feit that our eluding the Nazi 

Police in Berlinhad been a stroke of bsu^^ unbeliuevable' good lucj 

luck> n«ijS of our me^rlts^-'or just deaert,s in a h,orrible sea 1) / | 

of destruction anljid murder. When th^ warTwas^ beginning to /be--ffei 

l,e=s* and spectacular defeats «lounted in the winter of 1942/1943, 

-Iva- 4^-«. AV3*j 
we had to agree withAouir more experienced friends that the 

CA/ ä\{ 

OfS(>i ^ 2 (Xaa ^ 

5^At vV 

desperation would turn Nazi behavior into a ^ceÄ-^^FÄrWiDn . 
We too would be cruehed in their "total war" as Berlin began 
to burn. Switzerland appeared H ^Q the only "sichere Port" 

(saFE haven). Äs if by a miracle, v/e thought at the time, 

it had been spared invasion by the German jugger|laut in 1940, 

when tR^§ restof Western E urope, Including tradi tionally neutr al 

Belgium ^ Holland, or Denmark, had been crushed / ^&ä ^wi tzerlan^ 

bPPTü »t | (^ Uiberal-democratic Island surrounded by German occu- 

tAÄn forces and Italiea andGerman totaiitarianism. Even if Lotte 

did not haverelatives who now, admittedly too late, had 

accepted that their sister and brother = in-law, Lotte 's parents. 

\ \^ wX-^" 

had to be brought pu±t of Berlin, and that Lotte (and I ) had 
be |[^iMW44^iit^ ^e would be murdered, flight 

to Switzerland offered the only realistic hope for c>«rr~res-e«« . 

In our near-total ignorance and isolation about 
the World abroad I at leasti kn(^w///nothin9(about how Jewish 
emigres or refugiegi of the Nazi period would be received in 









* < m 

Switzerland. I knew more about distant Palestine and its i 


a§$ö/provisions, and carried the stereotypedxÄR^xKfeii^iÄk t^^e 



stories on his 

ages^I formed from my father's b^giness trips when I was a 
ypung child in Wuer|zburg: Switzerland the vacation paradise. 

Crossing the frontier after months of tense and watchful 

• • 


travel^^through police controls aTTgr3c:^=o=s=s- — open riel-<»e- 

view /pf German customs 
me w 

avu j^uL Kj^Lmaii cusi^oms ^«cw«^ pnat JU 

iTith a~eupnorial tnat se^ed to pen 

like a r ush of jubilationf 

|:hat June night in 1943^ 

j^triietrate my ^^^lV)'n^ 
from slavery to freedom. 

our old formula for the exodus from Egypt repeated ever« year in t 
the Passover liturgy, Martin Luther King 's Free at Last! 

jTis The memory of this exper ience 

u JQ 


my three years in 

Switzerland/v an emotional undertone of remembered redemption / 
as I got to k nw lan^ scapesfand cities, hiked with friends in 

the Engadin mountains ,^ let myself be swept down the fast Aare 
"' rivgr past the Elfe^jrau park, walked along Lake Geneva aifi?TlJHrHa 

(^Cörhiche near Lausanne .. ^Lotte and I married in Bern in a quaint 
bureaucratic y\ Registry ; I studied at the jj^versity and received 




:t\ \ji\< 


\ .^ Civil ri 

a doctorate in Modern Europesan history;I treasured the peaceful 
of the^Stap5?ibliothek 18th centuryreadi ng room where 
sei myself in 19th Century German politics on 

ghts without benefit of computerized Tdata bases; 

and I treasured my links with the Jewish Community and its 

rabbi, Eu^en Messinger and his fa/mily,and w^^^ tdie German-French 


and its civilizing influence on human relations in 


every^day lif e. That st. had not come to stay or immigrate, äköx 


we /: 

and that ^ did not really penetrate the mysteries of SWiss 

German^as spoken in Bern amd enrnvironment^^^Jef i^ed a;\ Space for us 

that did not need recognition by the people around us, peers or 

. otherwise, as we celebrated the beginning of our life together-- (i> 

nf^^ang^rs^. 'I*4ce Georg Simmel ' s "Fremde", work- and future -diSSct^ 


.\ P /"^, / struggling to absorbLhat slowly penetrated to us about the like 

Irr ^-.4-.^ ^ C U. ''- — -, ^ X^ ;ä- "U , . -3 3 . JL„ J 1 C e - — i_ . . . A 

ly fate of ferjre-gre whö" hau be r cn Lalccn frum us fui L ' lu^tl^ as ^e> t 

: ,^W)?' ^vt' ; X 


the multiple filters of war-time 
military censorshisp and the bQobX i tul silence that surrounded us 
/ in the Information communities we lived in - our JU^^Hrö-.i fri.-;.ias. 

even close f riends, our fellov/ ref u " gees , our "case ¥ork:ers", 
the rabbis , communitj^ officialSik Nene ""«^ fei low students ,xDQy 
or ajHHKg; l^^i^tteei^^i-l — ^ci J Qj^on mindod te-a-e^e^e- i s , fi iendly u i lu i- 

Kj\j v_. 

L^iiu±y -CO uewT^tT — ^ imm ii j rQr( T.- ^ ■ — J^ 






\q%\i''^<' i/v|^ x/ rK 



ever spoke )iof \ the mass murder of Jews in Eastern Eurppe 

that became public knowledge to the average newspaper readers 

■> - • 

towards the end of the war. Neither did any of the Jewish 

]C.apj g ^La< n n I n ( i yo r I met in several Swiss cities nor my Zionist 

col leagues ±±)c:KxHaHSxK±HKxaxpxEiifl±HKH^xExx in "refugee politics" 

in 1945/1946 reveal any understanding of the immensity of 

the hlocaust - the word was not yer applied to the "shoa" ^. £ 

contacts with. Jewish 

some time 
until after the war. I had qja 

m in Switzerland tw$ 

"Organization men " and had attended a conf erencesof 3EX±sh 

religigus leaders in London and Oxford in 1946, one of Reform Ju| 

Judaism, oneof an interfaith Organization of Christians and 


JewSj- /tYie most revolutionary event in contemporary Jewish 


part of o"^ 


history was not :56t%^^ßfecäb&c:?fefe^.jf deliberations or analyses 

ßüx Individual ääxkäüxääxämx collective memory -^were not linked 

before this first "latency period" KÄMi^xÄH^. Lotte and 

for that matter in 
I and our friends in Bern, and äx«R iÄJjÄl^ in^ fJew Yor>'k,:g§ii$^xillSt: 

JtMMJtfitÄÄ^K^fiaxx ijaioigXÄtiÄÄxdid not i-ae the [atmosphere congenial 


,,.f«cM^»*] to ;i^ 


, shar 






yj^i^y^ o\\^^ ^ mourning äi^xRÄfcxÄÄxXÄi51tx5i»d]ä±]äxHHJfe remained ^ private/mä 

\i{j \\\[t' communal life 

V)e^^i<c^ )f^i^ ^^^ 

fiKrx&M±sxxi±£Hxxax Our ÄÄÄXÄfcxMfiRfcfi Ätill had many of the 
qualities of öv, pre=war world. 

r . 

; V (7 C-i 


/ Yol' ^"^ 



ospect, Wgüs the h 

he— coun Li^/' s imarg* — arft> 

More complex still, in retrospect, wa^s the 
^^..^^^u.^ ^^y. »^v-x* xLi^ Switzerland and . tl 
po^iwd-r— 4iis-^e^?Y .T^ue, the euphoria I -^elt when/ I esc^ped 
that night iicSg§x55?icS85J never quite roGodec^ y tgxresidue of 
good f eeling r ^n ' slb i arrrrri L gj— " '" S^Wg^ remained wi 












would re-emerge long after we had left the country 

We />>-' ^o^'gf 

for the UNmited States in 1945 :Ä«ä returne<r|\f or Summer or 

^<^ .<*, M*- tt/ye^v«^ since then ^ 
wmtertvacations frequently enpugn to be awarded a souvenir 

prize Jtwo MHHIlltMJI^xsmall tin c^TTd with the i8gS^xS?kMxx«^xx 

äicSxSftäicMSä t^^ name of our "alp" and the years engraged 

up front. liX^^ü^s meant as ^ token)/of ref Cognition for our 

loyalty to 

place and region, So was the (quite serious) 

offer made to us by our host, the builder of the small chalet 
we rented, to put his village Council behind an effort he 
wishedi^ to make to obtain "SWISS citizenship for me" (in 
excchaNGE FOR "i token support for the band of local 

volunteer firemen he belonged to). I explained to him at the 

^\\\\(^( WC <^7^.- 

next ^e^ y»» \ V -i n 1 li ( jf^ 

wi*:h his familw, that we had long since 

sworn allegiance to our new home, the United States, and that 
thirty. years e arlier, his generous offe^r \\{ould have spared ffte o/ 
considerable trouble.| A few years aJ^ tcV^Riö — incidont , his wife 
and dauhter accepted an invitations of ours to visit us in 

i . . — ^ , / he . 

New York lAt one point, he introdi/cad us to the man wrra 

■ ■ 

.We prganiz4^d Jömt 
•:•• marry his daughterxKÄ orgari^zed a SK^^I^?^!!^ dinner xitfex fo 

C>-^^^ y^ the 

him an^xMÄ^of f ering g#^ wi:ne and local cheese specialtif^r?^ <^ 

raclette. To the family^s regret, the|ß|an came to noucht: 

the prospective brid^groom beeaae— a fugjtive yrom justice when 

he was accjised of^murderi""ng a man inadvertently durimng a quarre 

over a loan^ 


disapperared in neighboring iTaly without 
|trace.P;'J|/^3'' W^^f-f/j^^^tf 'h^i/.'J <Mi>1U/ HiOiu A-f^ c^ vu^^iij^ 



y\ »--\ 


f Ol« t 






he memory of that moment of liberation set the tone for our lives «äh Switzerland 


andjme Swiss for the next three years. The euphoria would yield to a complex sense if well-being, 


part aesthetic - those incomparable landscapes - part analytic - symtwis of humanity in the face 
of the inexhaustible regional diversity and unseifconscious local character; the civilizing effect of 
three languages and cultures 0fi customs and conduct; the laid back, unexcited public life; and of 
course, the villages and eitles, where the past came alive at every corner smmaq wi ttLokLcuum »- 
fjinefefiFAfter^ijly nine months. Lotte and I married in civil and religious ceremon«s in Bern, and 
set upj^in furnished rooms. "W8=Bicapd when I joined a prehistoric excavation pfoject during two 
■sunpef«, and Lotte enrolled in a school for medical (laboratory) technicians in Neuchätel. After a 
false Start taking courses in the history of religion, I found my stride in a Ph.D. program offering 

Cn\ ^W- «it w 

Allgemeine (Modern European) h[s^fy,j Semitic philology (Heljrew, Aramaic, Arabic) and (Swiss) 
pre-history, It took three years to obtain a Dr.phil., aftd-still ÖmJ-time for teaching in the Jewish 
Congregation's adult education program in Bern, lecturing on contemporary Jewish problems and 
getting involved in refugee affairs - the federal governmenl/,set up a reoresentation elected by us 
refugees in early 1945 to promote our re-migration tofcountries for "final setöemenf orj - return 
io "", countries of origin. (I was elected as alternate for Bern on the "Zionist tickef for the second 

Session held in G 


Lake Thun.) 

Switzerland thus not only saved our lives by "just being there" and taking us in at 
the Iowest civic Status possible - "Asylanten lacking v^ Identification papers^ '^chriftenlose 
Auslander" - it also pennitted me to enroll in a major university and obtain the degree that opened 
the doors'fer'an academic career in "our ultimate home", the United States of America. Even if I 
had not been seized by that euphoria of liberation, back in June 1943, 1 had enough "objective" 
reasons to like the country and its people: I never tried to be "objective" abouMhe lamj, thefeepte, 






1i >iü A 


the multicultural civilization, and its — ? — , the different music of the^^^^^^?^ — I heard around 
me. I never feit about Bern as "home" the wav I would feel about New York City, Sem retained the 

. ^, 

fairyland taste .. .«ciÄtamrfr; uicii;;>dvea nie from the culture oiim I had es^caped. \i .\ %J ^V^A c\ 

^.\ He+^^' 



Va'^aI fW^ Y\^^j^ OHi^'''^'^ 


Kf/- ^■^•'^' 




xfiHKÄxlxHHiäÄrÄiHjaiäxxiaßiCKaHiäxMer uniquely_ef f^cbive Com- 
bi na tion of isiKHxtyxäjcHHMXKx^aiickxÄHiäxxx social Status and 
KKÄrriKg religious simplicity, gna lier religious pacifism and 
and unfcrammelled left-wing Utopianism fascinated me precisely bec 
because slie )iad been tlie first Protestant or CatliolicxiÄXÄÄXSHiuiS- 
« Ipnrmras neitiier/\sutlioritarianvnor h^äfelonal istic| Q 

presence wi'-A \/is^i>i't^ 

. Het^ ^j^ssjßjg lielped^to eep+fitte a r 1 y modern 

European history ^'''f " „„n^/.,,, , ^"^Vj^^^ Ä', , 

, V 1 ■> J^' exampieytliat VTiilie-a tex/tbook and lacture 

ifi i" I . mm t iȀ on SWiss^ English, and American noneonf ormism. 

G4äfeä*Eg 'T^rauKurz/tquasi-liistoric dimensions 

created an excellent atmospliere for Öfe Cooperation on be)ialf of 

fKO i>A^ 5. «teil t- u- ) »L^ / hi /) ,^ i L( 
lier refugee pr ogram: I lactured r-e gul /^ ^ < l-l^-?t-t;>^.. oß/^ A\,^U' ^^ 

r lier Bjeue-Cr<5s's ^ 

gat rlierings 

pt^w=t^=KJ-= ctn inHoryiaLi u u )^ t^s»« meetüngs 



Zionist and Jewisli matters;; and^towards tlie end 

■~-f. . 


of tlie war, edited an information b ulletin surveying inter- 


\JC, \^ ^^^ iy45, several majoi 

Vjr 'France or italy tg^b the country ^ith ref ugees/ while , against 








U- K V 





"" exiles and lier rejecjion 

Her siding with German 
of Jewish national aspiratiiJons -"any national ism"- marked tlie 
limibs of her understanding of Judaisra and signified the slowness 
with which European opinion integrated the I^J^otcaust into its 


moral sensi tivities. 

Frau Kjirz main Lieutenant at tlie time was aGerman 
lef t-Socialist former revolutionary , Artlius crispien ( b.l875) 
wli^Shad lield cabinet posts in Weimer state# politics ^ (-/ ^ 


had been f oundtnaladapted fco tlie rou(^gli-and-fcumble of exile 
politics in tlie 1930s andAeased infco less demanding positions in 

tlie Socialist Arbeifcerliilf e in Switzer;and. Wlien I met liim in 

' f? // 

Bern in 1944 lie projected tliat "wlii te-liaired-trade-uftio-of f icial 

serenity tliat I liad learned fco app^rec'iafce durigg our Underground 
days. I undersfcood fcliafc lie was engaged in subsfcanfcial assistance 
projects for socialisfc refugees. His genfcle tliis-wordly piety 
blended liarmoniously wifcliFrau Kurz ' s a e 4 ix ^ ^ religious pacifism. 

THe small refugee communifcy of Bern coo-perafced in 

perfjrect liarmoney as long as fclie 



issuesl liacPbeen submerged '"3 


\ Tliii^ sifcuafcion clianged in aboufc 1945 wlien tlie waves of 

refugee poifcics reacliedxxJfckHxisf t our placid and miauscule coinmunifcy t 
and a Jewisli-Zionist group fouglifc a coalifcion of ^P^TO1re■s4^ariHrs , 
social workers/ and tlie exile polifcical Leffc over our (p([ibl ju j- ^*H.^ 
I b 1 c5-fe-iÄixaJ Mi^lugnce cpn mfcernational migrafcion d^ql s irous- m 
shaping up witk the Coming endot tlie war . I y'-ll- d o-t^ Al fe li o 

conflict later on/ i 

nne'Crtrion wifch thö sto 


>a£^4-i.aiasiiy.^ My election to one of tlie assablies 

dear-Hrftg— wir tli th i 

iti ca-1 ^±s-sue on tlie Jewisli-Zionist ticket did 

witli Frau Kurz 
not end tlie good cooperation/| in practcal Migxaa^iKM matters ■* l ^ 

-" b-e— t-g &u ü a'T e^HBÜ^g^fe^ff--T!igvs-i-frfe-te"&j^ - buüplaced it 
fwBÄi basxs. (X-^y^Co^ \yt /p^ ..), T /?| / 


on a more 


'i 'H ii^ 



rff^ 'i 







-. # in >* **■ • 


c:^. 1 VA^ ^ 

If tliere was a Student union building or a 3rU+vq^iH?^eiTi attaclied 

to tlie uni^-.'ersQty jf tliere was of course no defined campus in tli4e 

American traditionell did not discover itJ 

equal and free. 


• • 

SLyje_j ^ur goals ^ Irelati 
rajion personnel- tlie very warm-lie 

s^tem made you feel| 

wi tJl 

a-i warusrnS' 

• X • 

administarat yve 

"tol^e^-f "Fraeulien'' .<v/^ 
3 associateMXÄS. CRivel 1 i 

I w 

1^ c^.) 

fe^-ti-e^ -^ arlt ^nd liistqry excu^jrion/ W^ V'Si^A C^Ci^ 

eneva and»ntlie RUone val 


ley^ JwTEh a" 

on aiiKiÄÄ^txijö t«)Ä]Lak:e Ge: 

professo/^ on wliose team 1 spent two suii/mers hB-}^^^cfa$9--%odexcavat0^''/i^ n| 


1 (>^, neoJl itliicA JHirriuniversity style of Immah relaTions was of on 

cl'Otli wi tli /sxKxjcÄay witli relati ons to üferarxxKxaÄMxxx 

1 ibrari 

rarians of tlie beautiful Sta dt-und Universi taetsbibl iotliek in 

I spent^^t** last tliird a£,.^y &tu4 %r-trrme/yH ^er$h 

Muens tergasse wliere 

and would 

d not liave 


tlireats inl 

t ^ 



preparing my doctoral dissertations . Tliis /too^was perfect/y idyllic 

liave appeared to me^ even if 
down LJ^bi pjl ' e^'^'im ai c) of 
Byerlin.THe reading was afjpp^y isyj ewel of /inferrior arclii- 

ould be rserved jIj m h uLlu and researcli material 
1 and writing lef t.\ overniglit , t3*te green VaTtM^ftl rirsTTädes 
protecting -jJ^^against i ntrusions into the ,,ai9mmji¥mni'kmA qxJL^etj o.':^^i< 

of your work.,.AY certain days, a maaii=w-ei4^-eÄa=JuaJid^>e-U'l t-r-y market! 


• usually crowded witli KKK:fcHDflsrx liousewives , s^tal Is covering both 
s ides of the narrowfMUens^tergas^sey closed to traffic for tlie r i'^a^ 

c ^'fTSTS r; liad t/ro be UasSsb?«^ to gain the entrance door to 

converted of^^eat^ ajid. cheese^^ 

tlie library, an 18tli centurfex granary , ^romatic wliiffsvÄi 

|Sg^«Sli«x|€^^$S«yxremind<iüg you Qi robust realities absent from 

your ^smaesk. on the ideological background of the first.German 


political irsrrSPjr^ 

VM^ Potü^rei^ 


i/^. kUm V'. 


\KI Hi^c^ 

I retain warm, eveii fond memo ries of tlie university and 
tlie libraryxxikHxi:M]a J^kÄ defined my warking liours so unobtrusively/ 

and I Ä^ö-i^'TTTrougirThe cid town i/llij iiinjli tÄe outskirts where 

Lotte and I^found several affordable lodgir^^ 


. Witli time, we would take small excursions 

^/^0u^ L^vc^ 



//^^ |/C9lfe^\ '^. t: .aJo;^g tlie Aare river>^swim in' its fast waters after Walking upstream, 

i*^t tlie tougli military and political 


of the "messieurs/de Berne" A sliapirtg tlie 1 argest c?\yo 

city State /^ in ancient-regime Europe north 

of tlie Alps. Tj^Q ^.Q^j^ ^j^^ ^^.g unique arclii tectural features i-^ 

afforded^ an environment fitted ±fix l-lii-^ y^^^^' two yearä of married« 
life, ^T.. -• ^ ../^^^^ V. />^f;^^f>.^f 

SS - 

inn wa f nriTi(liB||f pf Be r n e cf e oo g ijb ^ 1 1 a b i tj 

free of tlie ancxieties of ^:äs^c?''^ 

WS .fcire private space, 

^-Ss^^'^^^f \ retic ence //; 

Berlin years. tlieÄ-/iSomewliat in trovert^in «lA iuliiiii^' _. ..,. 

witli __ n III I 1 uMiiWWiHiii Mii II llli cur need f or ««aaiW and 

CO ntacts 


{/\/0y ^^i ^c^t Oor X h^rey U 

' ^ -^ i i" *^ i TWM ü li i ■ \^ tr\^e never made an effort to learn tlie SWiss-German 

spoken in ^XX everyday af f aira^ because we considered it^a dialect: 
public affairs were conducted in "liigli German", t.ti^j ^\i y-pp^^c^^t-^^^/^ , 

a { SC i>iLaj i*ye language tmx many um^ liad to learn«# in scliool , and we 

^\j^ < ^1 c\ ^ ^1 

get by . Since we 

^ U ^ < y ^'( C\ t./ 

thouglit we uuderstood enougli(\"Be 

V c\ ^ ^1 
rn-duetscli" to 

intention of ,ii 1 iiir) i,1i,ii^k> in Switzerland 

, XHiiHrjaaltXHK we restrig^ed cur 
f riendly conversation , 

Ö A 

t ' iü iLL tei ui ' eg at tlie university. 


JLf i cl r to learn more about the country tiiat 

saved our lives. 


CO^^Ia "M'vLfT^öt course j«R5 noC" önlV a piece of German arrogance 

biilt a barrrier to penetrating taelow tlie surface of ^ä communication 


X ö' 


A ^ ,\ 

^ tlie sliades ojr liumor, irony, de^i^^^i^e - ^rrd^ - a g g r ü -sisttV^ 

^ recognize 
tliab I began to kaar in kkÄx^üike A±±i&is.&¥L^ in some of tlie 

X8ltk^ixV^^t)al and non-verbal forms of expression in Bern speecli. 

I do not (J^laim to liave mastered it today , (30 summers of visiting 

\ • 

friends and vacat jfioning in tlie mountains^aiCMXxx x Ipliat our Bern 

f riends c/laimed not to"real ly/understand" tlie 


fl • 

1 Swiss 


GermaiL of tlie Valis or t lie GRison ma 
putting some caclietron tlie matter/ tlitf 

of Swiss discourse 


if^ restaurantX tlie public Services. I never heard an anti-Jewish 
comment from fellow students. Only one already quite elderly pro= 

fessor in tlie Protestant Tlieoloigal Faculty 

tre ated liis caprtd 

captive -liPrtUiiL audience to clieap if lioary TnMirr ifytjr n<it<>iwiicM 
jl^^'^liings or tliougliti^Tewisli . /'^felSf^^ lieariyiBern " Burqer ü" ||as 

late as tlie 1980s moutli similar stereotypes derived p^obably* from 

Sunday-scliool pj^J^ f^ C^a^V\S^ijJ 

^A°^ late 19tli Century vintage. 

tlie same rKÜgxHKK 

I slirugged it off s^j 


aver--ag^inst l^stork ^^ reiirgrhwv a« -* major] (Av^^ ^t Im K i^^ f ^ ^^ 



cjJS^ ^ "^^1^ 

^ )n rU 

Cu. >' CJU] 

On December 1, 19 43 t entered "free Switzerland" , 


after spending the orevious five months in custody of the 
Federal Department of pOlice s» a weekkin prison, about sixe weeks 
in a "quarantine camp"run by a military reserve unit, then about 
five month in a civilian labor camp in the Rhone valley cleaning 
tree stutps from recenlt cleared land along the river, cutting ^^ 
tirewood a few hundred yards up a mountain face and tifaft&pärt*ng 
it down a gulch leading tp the road. where horse-drawn carriage or 
a small truck picked it up for tb^ localtavern. If my lettersto 
my f iancee and soon wife lotte reveal impatience'and at, times, 

tempered by a sense of euphoria that had s 



as soon as I had crossed the f rentier, no matter what the SWisc 

m -> 

would inflict pn me: crossing the f rentier at night through 

Gestapo and customs- lines and not being sent back to prison, 

concentration camps and ultimate murder by that flower of German 

manhood, theSecurity Servi5^ l s.S. fehat ^»d the German name 

iHdissKiaix forever with the vilest mass murder of a people -ganocid^ 

de - evef witnessed in European history.Seven month of hiding out 

in Berlin, the deprtatiO-n of my family and myy father, the emigratii 

tion of two thirds of Jews in Germany,my friends and teachers, the 

destruction of the unigue fusion of Jewish wiflh German and Eiropwa: 

civilization.T. grnwing upat an edge that had turned into an 

abyss that would have swallowed me up like my friends and 

^^"•^^y^ tb^^Q-b3i 1 - fnr- the . gr anpnf gnd gae^Joha-Bradford, ^ have 

tried to desrcibe my ^rowing up in an idyfthat had turned into 

an execution pla4f^rffr^before my eyes.i would not have been 

ilive without the help of the good people whose hands I had gras 

ped, German Jews, "S^^ Christians ,' "Sliiei^t'^riends and unknöwb 

strangers. By the time I knocked at 

fr gate/in June 19 43, 


police, military. or bureaucracy had in practice stopped applying 

an ordinance voted by the highest authority of the land, the 

FederaJ-CQuncil (Bundes rat) in June 19 42 that/sxKiHÖKä Jewish 

fugitives asylum as "political refugees" - Ftiaee htlinge , 

During this period, as many as 50,000 Jews had left their homes 

in Wj^gftern Europe and had formed a massive population trek 

moving towards the Swiss frottier, a veritable "Underground railroa^ 

road" assisted by all that was good in Nazi-occupiedAl^^'^urope 

h\ Jewwish «^ä^ flÄÜKXx Gentile^TO their hoDoriit must be noted that 



Swiss humanitarian groups and individuals in the 
cantons had used all ithe^discr^tion tl^^ y :h ^^ to ease the severrity 
of the Federal ^ule asthe deportatation of Jews from W^tern 
Europe had become Vthe final Solution" . TA^Kf^ jt4oy .^i^/^ /yi^^ 

A I had arrived 

s an obvious question- 

.uA-'*- ^ 


markidress and paraphernalia - the irievitable leathfer bria^tcase 
of the professional signalling respectability, as di d tiea and 1^\ 
hat , language and behavior - but I had no identity papers or 
paPsporti and „o.-XS«iss visa, +he custcns police describea ™e as 
"schriftenloser Auslaender" -"unidentif ied foreigner illegally cro 
crossing the f rentier." I was too innocent to be excessively anxioj 
ous -the Swiss would knoww hat the Nazis did to the Jews right 




\^\^ ^ across their ffontier. The police knew who I was y Lotte my fiancee 
•— or. as she insisted on calling herseif ^then, my lover (Liebschaft), 

^^^ .. i-^ i-^ ^^^ I 

had been stopped by the same police pämt tnat stopped Hslmy friend 

Lutz Ehrlich and me 

, aptCi had g^t-^o know her u: 

uncle in Lausanne ^ 


WB^ enough to assist him in planning my escape six weeks later. 
On my third day in prison, the prescrbed course of nonör for 
unidentified foreigner, I was asked by that very same gHicantonal 




Ol -My3 qjff 



'-]■ I c 

i)M ^0^^ \i4\^MU\>^aT, 

\\'^^nö\m 111/ 

On December 1, 1943, I was dismissed/by the Zentral leitung der Arbeits- 
lager in Zuerich. The Tiniversity of Bern had admitted me as a fullly matri- 
cu;ated Student to its Philosophiosche Fakultaet I - the humanities and 

aND SOCIAL SCIENCE DIVISION<Its Dean, the well-known^and respected liter- 

Fritz Strich 1^ 

ary scholar wqs persuaded by the obvious sincerity with v\?hich Lotte and ^ 

I, in separate vbisits to hi s Bern bachelor apartment, presented 
of.Strattch .was most svrriTDathetic t i omv nni il Mmi 1 1 i i n . .Fe 

il exDei 

Lnüsüäl"e5cperiences^in the'^Biä&gÖf Nazl"T?g?TTn^7"He kiMSÄ 
häwrf>ix>sition at the Uhiversoty odf MUnich in 1929 to ^ "^ 
a»^ invitatio»--*© . the chair of German and Comparative Literaiure^in 192^^0 

^KSMKS .^Sbefelannish Gepa^^ Germanisten - establishment had blocked his 

the ^ 
advancement to FÜLL PPOFESSORSFIP hds schor-lariy pub*icatlons StM,hls 



inspired teat5Ring and his ständing in/ scholarlv Community Tiad" long- 
jpraabcfeHHxS5bdEgacxxäffi3öax^ffiKtod»a^^ Huch/a t^-J^v^r*- 


ifespeeted- literary ikon of t he period, had W3fi±ten^!lsc>-ÖIKX 

j^psiKfeKiro3txxStenm±kJögsxK)f xjfckK Jm.^ support^^ his Berufung' thatMe had 


^ besides Woelff lin the most ^pular and most beloved t^eafcher^j^ 

M unich , But ^e miserablwe Antisemit ism ( Leidige) taesr ■y'»~^^4sponsibi^ty-r 

.:äasfe=tee=^^5 not being invited tojj^cnairs elsev^ere." (Ricarda Buch an Leo 
Merz, Berlin 11. Fe bruar 1929xit. R.H.BRiefe an d^ie FReunde, ed, Marie BaUM> 
Tuebingen 1955. p.l22). HeHtet^ us^ irTtB^T^Bfined apd quiet way< and^ ^ ^ ^ U{i^ 
JXSHHäxMSX pKteiisKdxisx,and(saw by application through the Faculty COTh-^l!!^^ 
mitte^Ji^ .^rso sent me three volumes od^the works of Gottfried Keller, te 
19th Century Swiss master, ^ ile I wufcr^ ±n Buesseracti,-^aa* I paid him a visit 
of thanks after I had begun in Berr>^ His^lectu res on "Gioethe und die yi 



](^4 I 


Weltliteratur" would belong to some of most cherished and sophisticated 

experiences irerking my retum to the universal humanism ihad lost wiikx in 



i^^,?<vw^^ 7^ Uu: 

|vi £/ivi o 







«^ <s / .J 

/ (^ 

<^?/*>^i^v peA«,v 





On October 24, 1943,/ we had escaped from a team of Nazi 

secret policemen" who had come to our Berlin apartments 
to take US to a transport of 790 other Berlin Jews 

being assembled in a Berlin sy/^aögue. Lotte, my close 

^ durina 1C-*v vua A^.^vi^ \^^^r>/^un 

com^pnion : t tliöse $^$$$$^^$3^$$ yearsxja^ hÄrrKXxkÄHiki ^ * 

XKHxpsrxÄKKitxHH^and I found good ^people, Jews and Christians, 

who risked their lives helping us with shelter and food, 

rs and't44e warmth of sympathy and fpriendship. 

fake identity pape 

MOre than once wa eluded th^ police and their unpaid but willing 
informers, with seconds,A8J^ even split = -seconds to spare. 

For many months, 1 travelled around Berlin without vUiy 
identifi cation. impersonating a non-Jew in my relations 


ith oc hers. I suffered what I feit as humiliating , to be 


the run from people I had the deepsst contempt for./^:tte and 

I had escaped out of some near-instinctive ±flapKxa[:k±XK , not 

to be caged by the enemy. The longest time "Underground" , 

I had n§t emotionally what I had heard in vague allusions, 

that I was to be murdered in Eastern Europe "J did not believe" 

it possible that a people were slau ghtered by their neighbors 

and their children, people you had gone to school xit^xand sat 

in the same classroomswith. In the end, Ludwig and Ilse 

schoeneberg, Lotte 's ugC(54§ a":^nd aunt living in Lausanne in 

exile and ertirement, found the German and Swiss men and 

women who assisted us in escaping from 

democratic S witzerland. 

Germany to li beral- 

Lotte and I have described our lives in Germany 

as it tu7rned from democratioc Wei 

mar to 


Lotte and I have desribed our lives in Germany with as much 

fairness as we eere able to muster in two memoirs we 
wrote in English and saw published in German trans- 
lations first, then in our original english manusctripts . 

( 1). 

AT nidnight o f June 13, 1943J-..3 clandestinely , 

af ter 

"illegally^'"','we, crssed the border to freedom.-- a tense 

final spurt across the "no-man' s-land" between the State 

of Baden and the canton of Schaf fhausen. I was accom^anied by 

a fellow-student and friend, Lutz (_Ernst-Ludwig ) Ehrlich, 

one of the up to two dozen Jewish fugitives from Germany 

whom the "Schoeneberg " network saved in 1943/1944. We 

had been warned by our Swiss contact in Berlin, Jean Friedrich^ 

to avoid being stopped too close to the Skxxx frontier 

by swiss security or customs men . Since the fall of 1939, 

an (unpublished) federal advisory had authorized that 

fugitives (Jews except for the temporary flight ofFRench or 

Italian civilians across th eir frontiers at moments of 

Müiiaryx . Ger, man military Jl^reats) caught at the fro ntier 


re to be returned to the area they had come from.They shou 

n4e released to their own cognizance. Should they be 
stoppedat a second attempt at c rosing the frontier, they 

should be turned over to the German (in 1939 :French, Italian ) 
Police ot appears that until early 1942 the 
cantonal authoriuties did not honor this directive but had 
all fugitives transferred to civilian authorities for 
subs equent internment. 


However, when Nazi police and SS troops, assisted by the 
ßariaaKXHJsisxiipjcxRgx regulär army units and the police forces 
of the countries they had occupied - Holland, Belgium, France, 

later on Italy and Vichy France - began to round up Jews in 
estern Europe for incarceration in local prisons or detemtion 



Centers and fr deportation to Eastern death camps or kiiiXKgxx 
execution pits, the number of Jewish fugitives seeking asylum 
at the French, Vichy, and Italian sectors of the f rentier 
increased dramatically . They formed a veritable "Underground railr 
read" assisted by Jewish and Christian associations and social 
eeY^ice agencies, childrens' homes, ctjiurüh groups, sociajist 
or Communist groups, tradCunionj' and i^ q^ludod an entire>,Calvinist 
vi llage ina mountainous area close to the Swiss frontier.For the 
Crossing proper, they enrolled native guides, including professio- 
nal c ross fronter traders ( "smugglers" ) . Swiss reports even saw 


the German occuping troops "look the other way" to explain the 

sudden increase of individuals and i familip? groupsseeking 

safety in the Western and Sputhern cantons like Geneva, the Valais 
the Grison and the Ticino . "^'"^ V ^^^^^^ '^^ \\^^ .x^-J h^r ^^ i)yi 






) > (N 


On June 12, 1943, \ I escaped "from servit\ide to 


Freedom",9iS tie old formula in the Jewish prayer book 
for RassHXEx the holiday of Pas sover has arChtyped 


> > r t j 

-r »• 

Fleeing from a capital that was beginning to take what it 



had given to Rotterdan, Wa rsaw , London,^ Coventry wou4.d outwei 

y^Hi-^ "1 r-> 4- lnöl"-'''trrTvrX~-j 1 "'^ t^-» ''v- ii -^ -^ -«^ «» i^ W -a.. « ** «. x. .. 

the risk of st^jaying päik iß the^^'^^^'ToTar'lfär "^^is^Äd XMrk±HssbKssxxx 

t3^:ail ruthlessness and t^j^öi- seif- des 

death wi$h 


fk (y^-f iu^gvivJ\ 

t^uttjön, Hitler 's '^— 

birs<""people and» of course 

1 4^in 

US, the Jews in 

his power. Lotte ,my future wife, Liitl.z phriich a friend and fellowl 
Student at the Berlin (^Jewish StlTaTes' fferHs^^ ( 1 ) ,quite. f ew 
friends snd I had been helped to cross into neutral Switzerland 
in 1943/44 from Germany by German and Swiss men and women who 
were willing to defy the lif-e and liberty Discovery 
would entail^ V)to*»^*^^ktee "underg round railway" or ". resistao^ce 
network" "^^ ^pnri ;;ri nt^ -^o r th o nn mm -inT,T Tmm^n o-f:.g.azLL^^d/by 

Ludwig and Ilse SchoeneberÄ in Lausanne, Lotte 's aunt and ^ 



Our reception in Switzerland as friendly as the 
systemn then in place would allow. it ^et th e palj 



for a iri Q 1 ." H i i Qn^h4--rh-^ dP country and people that has enriched me 

for the rest of my life, over half a Century since 1943, even after 

the high, the rtjp^veuphoria that had flooded me that night in June 





^ vav^A^ 



^ ^iofuV Af 

T /^<if A»^ 

Cl6 G 

1 a^*^ tii^ 


1 2:^«i- yuesUb, likti uld triönds; — ar nd e x c hQngQd ^ vi s it &- botwoon New Yo rir^ | 
and-v:BeiH»^ ?^\ u (1 y i i i j li i k^ Mir j' i fiTT^ 




e f ö u^^-^^-da^ s I was confined with Lutz to 


:ei-a-*~J:>ehiJ:iä-^aL * 

"in free Switzerland" , have taken on a Fledermaus quality in 
my memory for their sheer incongruity. Ever since I Jcnew myself 

Swiss soil, even the custom guards and 

a s 


beyond the Nazi grip ««^ owxöö o«^xx, ^v^xx y...^ ^ ^ . 

the prison wardjJ^Pad taken bn a friendly quality. I had experienc 

chaNGE OF moodfrom the involved tenseness of the 

fugitive from injustice, whose every misstep could have been 

his end, to a jubilant high , a mood of wellbeing ,havin9 

ove rcome extraordinarfcly threatenin g situations, as the 

disguise I had to assume literally seemed to-drop off" AND 


I could be my-self again.: "free at last" in''(artin LUther 

King 's immo rtal phr ase and int onation. The intense euphoria 

that had "seized me" physically, through my entire 

body - whatever its physiological basis - stayed with me as 

"a high" in the quality of my feelings, it repressed nothing 

of our dramatic experiences in Germanyy but it seemed to block t 

the^emotiomnal equival©ßts. 

And it softened the contours of the absurdities 

that surrounded my beginnings in Switzerland. 



< Jh qr 

b^»i vwvv^y n 


^Uc^^ /H^^-^>^ 

organizinqsWiss experjence 1943. 

PÜ^ asserted - - _ -——--. .- -.,..... 

'^'\®_^"^yA'^°^^t^E^^J^^lii5iiitegritJ: in facing tlie eiiemy . _ ^ - 

Jews of all denominations had a^ways rested their defence and tlie iV 

^U"Xv^/ " V "" .- 

s for completefcßÄS^^emancipation ontliel8tli Century Enliglitenment 

Tills was possibly one of elementstn German-Jewisli mental ity. Ir was 

ancliored in tlie course of Ger>man politics, the social structure^On basi 

political assamptions bliere li^^ +teiRl beeiijno clioice. Even tliose 

members of tli e Jewisli commun Uy - mar ginal Iv Jewisli in tlieir rejtection 


of tlie religius basis and Qi|ieliumanistic indidividua^iwsm of wliat was 

perceived as tlie ^Wesei:^f Judaism in tlie igfeli Century 

of the \i 

I shared tliis(^''natural|l iber-al ism«^ : It had been part of the religi 

ometown^-^f Berlin, gtlcxkkftxM5ck^§c§ckS:k^K of^all my friends 

iousmil i 


and acquaintances, of the Berlin atmosphere and tlie mentality of 

tlie substantial intellectual and pri^of essional elite of Jewisli 

reVigion or descent. Tlie Hochschule' orcourse had been the intellectual 

Center of progressive Judaism and stalwart middle-class , ie.upper- ' " 
income-group jäsixiciiSÄi liberal ism aHKxJkhax in econmic policy ändJ 
WSeimar consti tionalism. The administration had been patterened af ter 
a private foundation directed by a Board and by officers wliosequal if i- 
cat^ons, bseides personal ^cceptabil ity , appeared to liave been financial or 
mtel lectualpi the classic pattern of Jewisli communal controls.* 17'^ 

Coming to Switzerland and living in Bern, its KRf^x^siXx^ i ^aUltu -- 


capital since 1848 , amounted to the best education in political 
Ä^iÄÄS^Äxtif e of a deeply-roojed democracy war-time Europe had to 

offer wliile World War II took its course. Altliough I was not part of the 

elf / ■ ' '^^ - 

'izenry and it spcAtical üfe, i took «*x*;i;|« wliat war-timerestraint^ > 



' on public Information allowed to reacli tlie public. BH:k Sven if 
war-time politics and governmenfc appeared as almosb obsessively 

secretive during tense war-time an'^^iety about Nazi military 

wliat . surf acejf. did not reveal 
ag gression againstvtlie country.and even if theKaKxaixKBiHXrsxxxx 

-- peasant loiÄes, tlie ministerial 

social forces, tlie industrial centers, bureaucracy / the univer- 


sities/ tlie army command^or the federal components of policy* 

pi\j^'^^ \/like tliecantons or tlie political parties, tlie climrclies , tlie 

1 ike 
egional interescs of tlie tliree or four language areasxKsrHXHHXxiaB. 




ÄlEÄxÄÄkxÄMX^ÄKÄxx — (even if tlieseforces did not emerge in t lie 

Vision of a foreign Student or a civilian internee Jtlie public proce 

"*■»*»*• *» -kwwwai 


lörHKÄSKHs functions of democratic life in Switzerland, the •-• 

to my German experience a 

**'■ -"y *-- -• 

political kaüMajcs festivals celebrated witli wliat seemed in compari| 

"^ ' dTTiTfo r rrrärr t y and looseness- — - 
^. conveyed impressions of Swiss political culture and suggested 

_ images of the Swiss "public p e r s o n a " i=H====^5CF44^fe«sc:%j^ 

, , , would ^better^"unders^and" ^ , . ^, 
I though> I MHfiMsrÄXHaä Swiss democracy »KKK by quietly 

.^ X forcind 

observdTng from tliye sideliness than from efforts to "learn" 

/ -'}» ^^lUt^Yl ui(^/] ^ i^.Tlie lectures and seinars J- attended :• 

r.. •♦( 


* \ r<r 

♦ • 












>V^ / 

jp^ltü^ ^a^^^f^^'i^L 



f c 




In mid-June 1943 I crOssed the f rontier separating 
MaZI Germany from Free Switzerland. The first part of these 
memoirs recounts the the events that culminated that night, 
a few fdays after my twentyfifth birthday, in a ^i>x^JÄ>^AB=d- sense 

of being free: we had gotten the better of the 


enemy t 

eyer oinco wo h - gd üi jcck p^ü "L i' üdiiy aiiublüil}- ^^ theScret pOlice, 

the Gestapo, in Berlin» aife¥t|fBipped to a concentration camp 

in Eastern Europe. Our Jewish communi tyhad been profoundly 

isolated durinmg the war years, Jtire— liv c d o n- ^um o r s and, 

i nforTnat±OTir-ril ter'^'U-^ lir o uyh prupdiiJa -? — tfee- Na-z i - maefei-ft«- 

a^i^-^öuif— oppois- — -4-4-i-o«--^^4~ theix--Me«'-:ha^-^ 

of what we kneV. If our ojc^^^^i^ z a t i - o nad and spiritual 

leaders kÄäxkKxsikdgHXHJ^xikHx knew what was in störe for 

US at the ends of those train journeys to the East, they had 

not taken us into their confidence ." Lotte ' s and my escape 

from the police t^ra-tr-^vfo^o-td— h«-^re — Ldkeii u^ L ü the coTlre ction 

-fro^ri^ — fxxx-, de p r t a t io^^ had eWe from a deeper layer than. ^ 

xtfrlTi ^knowledge of their mass-murders| \ bfee' pj^'E^fei-v«!;^ t^f ^ f /vi ^ / 

ari ±i!»«^ft^«xiz±rt=ia5f©«J j being caged, confined, 

Lotte and I wanted to stay together. qfhe execution pit near 

l^^^U^' J^litv- ^^j^ ^"-^A U^He'j pQi,^^Jr<^ VväJ ^tX * 
Riga where "our" t^f-aii-^prafe^ had e n ded L heir lives utf^^r- tite ^ 

hail//of German adji Latvian machin-gunbullefTsT lodged — i n o utf — i^tVÄo 

tC CK\/<^ wIaMv^c"!^«^ ima^ifvatdton -oTTly i n: 'ttrer^Tci st T'Bw-yis^ss^ . J^ho oubconaGioug 

\M ffje\ Uf^'jc V3«^v^ 
VW ^- ^ ^"^ '^ ' 

hatLLts — of^a 1 tf e- 1 ime of JliÄ^JIxäixi^Six^^^^^^^s aga i nsb — fch o Ä j 
uiinatre horrorsu stored in Baltic archives. 

I remember the emoitional impact of stepping on SWiss 

VN ^ CX^ - ^ , 

soll with ainü^^-fe- total recall. ^jt^, tire£5g--^jfaLa^s?> 4 Swiss uniformed 

took US to the neaby cantonal capital (Schaff hausen ) . 
to depsit US in its central (and only ). prison- It was 
almost reassuring to be taken in^^by a df'uard detail that seemea 
to be preoccupied with target practica and appeared to be 

•^Vv« w«.y* Jv. J 



we were 

Im. ^-^^ 

expecting us ..aird onea^sy fterms with Herr Moesle. Should we/be anxi 

about being returned across the rentier ? On Monday morning, 

,/aken t/o a lower (the first)floor for a HSäHx interro 

gation>/by a policeman: on the very first day, he asked me 

( Federal 

to sign^- an applivcation to the Äi;±KR £$MlJ8x Justice and 

Police Depar9€inent for an identity hfro^l-et (domestic passpor^, 

entti tled Fluecht linq sauswei s ,%^f^^i^ issued in Bern, the a 



capi tal. I took this as a sign that we had been admitted 
as "civil'an internees" =,/ FI-v^ d^-^ later, we were taken by 
a police escort to a receptiuon camp in the nearby Jura 
Mouhtains, a former f actprybuildingin a hamlet namecS Buesserach 


• 4 * 

^ where about 100 "Zivilf luechtlinge" lived under loose military 
guard provided by a resrve unit of older men and some Swiss 
WAC's.When L\7tz abd I reequealled of the commandant that we be 
released to attend a university, we were turned downithis was 
aquarantine camp under military control , confinement was projectj 
ted for six weeks, he would inform his Territorualkommando 
in LUcerne of our application but we were first to be trajbsf erred| 
to civilian control before we could take any steps to be trans 

ferred to Individual internment" ie. other tfhan being 


confined to a camp. The latest on July 15, less than a month aftej 

my arrival on slwiss soil,I was handed a properly stamped 
idenHty bookiet - we hadmoauthentic idenity papers since^ 

they had all been vconfiscated when we went into hiding [v\p>-'M 



" feelinc 


(Xjf^^ ^ ■"■ ^®^^®ve th^^L firstmomentf on Swiss soll shaped the xit^^jiUü^ 

^°'^®" ^^ "^ perceptions and my relat ions to th§ country 




nd it 
or a 

fofig efme to come iKXKxr}ciKgx£iarBaxxHHiäxiiiJkKKsi:fc±Hs . \ 

\li^ü we arrived in JUne 1943,/we/had bee 

n warned byrour 

contact in Berlin, a delegate of the iNternational Red CRossxxh, 

that since Septemnber 1942, Jewish fugitives KaHiIxHflJ5ijsxgxÄia±Äfi| 

in Switzerland , 

asyXum^if eKey had been per secut ed"for racial reasons alone." 

This confirmed a regulation in fotce since October 

1939: only-political fugitives" would be admitted, in line 

,,'4.v. o • perceptions that 

with Swiss ^re-war kSigicJcSSÄJews had fled German y since 1933 fori 

':ec2nmls:..^^^ons^ onlyj That Jews fled Nazi Germany to save 
their motoe?, not KhßaaxKiXKÄx:)cxKax 

LV^-^^ XA>-^jr ^^^^"^ lives, from Nazi 

persecution^had originated in part wit^ the left- oriented 



Jiitical r 

% \r \^-A^ 0^'^^'^ 

genEzia among plitical refugeö(ä of the eariy 1930s, 

and the Information and pro p anda centers they had set up 

. ^ had (Un-^nntJ 

m Prague and Paris. It carv i oJ -&fi. £he (^««^ antagonism between 

+,!>„ T^V .communal organiza-rtionsand their defence ef-^fori-c: ^.nri 


and the kHKkiiiijc class-struggle-xajcJaxKgEx XxHgajä discou 
s:g that had formed the ( tgBaaL^ XKSHfcHxxHix core of xs.äx&s.i ma 
attacks on the Weimar Republic by the "agitprop" of ihHx 
lÄfixradxcal Publicity./ The stpreotypes of the"undesi rable 

^ ff I « ^ . 

Jewish fugitive reflect b©th sides of this Propaganda 

w > 

^/■rV- battle, the subversive radical and revolutionaery Jew /' and 
<iii^^V»'' ^ ^^^ ■ :ewishwheeler=dealer businp.'=:Rrn;:.n transf eri-ing hi 

Z^v-//C^>/ i^C 

, corrupt officials to 

E»a experi^ences with hostileCgovernmerfts and , , . 

Swiss business practices 

/^integritye,;^.J law.and^order , consensus. 



There, in 

woods ,one 

om sight by the 
to the local (cantonal) 

police post. While we waited, they offered us coffee,and friendly 

curiosity :What are black market pfices in Berlin? 
ÄKKX. From then on, KÄXKSXsx^HxdKjäxbjcx^kfixgxiäKixHsxxx 

* / first 

we were seen as routine cases, neither the fugitives appear iing 

in the middle of the ni ght^nor the last 

Federal rules 

reflected the fluid di 

\.n"it ^1 

•bie^ of resK^onsibilitffies for iks our 


iö \<^,\ 


fl f ^ \u 



^ <^f 


In some ways, this use of the term acculturation seemi'to answer 

the basic experience was/ ,that I was being a^tacked b^^. ignoramusse 

a personal problem I feit the longer I stayed in Switzerland: 

^ .. . hY 

at many t>fis of m^ppssage^/ as a "German Jew" ^Of course. I was a 
German Jev^in Germany. It set me apart from immigrants from Easte 
Europe, butfmy youth movement Zionism and its liberal national 
blas w*s desigried to minimize and bridge over differences in 

styleslof life,language, gestures, habits^ or public appearances. 

i ^ f H^^^ r 

äj^Y difference that^ lrh*e .-dicli-ikes #manating from our parentsj 

/ WA 

/gjenera^ticm xson^t^sß 


been entirely free t of such dislkei which bor^dered on group 

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antisemitics jokes abd fused with social elements. x^nophobÄa 

of G-n^trl and Wss^rern Europeans aga^nst their Eastern neighbors.^ 









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[^ *• I [nI' ' ,'' ff c 

^s^^y ^' 

at during tho se three years of study at Bern Univrsity 

I never once was invited to take part in organized Student life except 

to write a few pages for the Bmer Student, the Student HBwsgagKrx per4odi- 

cal, did not strike me as extraoridinary - I presumed that thgy were organized 
along religipus Imes, and that the few Jewish students I 



tenbund. At special occasions, one noticed the usual Student organizations 

clad tike their German counterparts in fanjy o^^^il uniforms and (irostly white 

tight-fittig)- pants of whom I knew little and cared less, but/ saw noine of the 

cadaverous-looking "beer-csaas?*?^' (Beeri-Leichen) recoveri^ f rem their compulso] 
^ . "the Rights bef ore ' claimed 

beer-willing sessions they consicdered milestones to manliness . They bsKSKEX 
''' Status 

Nazi victiins after J945 sinde the raird Reich hadnot neededsäsracx these 

anv ^^^ ^^^ dissolved them. assisted them 
social and political reactionarie^ aiBwjf. longer after they had<Se^ ksaxHä into 

power. I also became vaguely aware of Student gr oups organized along political 

9 r 

party ör ideology lines. I never knew whether they e. .^L^ ed political 

power by ccnhesion or formed a politcal power elite likg^the graduates of 

Swizz officer schools ( the "colonels " ) . i noticed that Bern sxtoiäKHisxhaäx 

gene3 fa3:-stt^enfe-bedy-eeÄfed3f±bttfeed-eaeh-be3gm-te ~- 

students contributed Jto"^^ral good ca^ii^^ part of tSii stud^I^ ^eeä^ 

KT erugee students were exenpt from paying the ^txKikHfcxxKiyxsKia: 

t ^ ^ t he 

fees charged regulat sudent^iTj^JiuscTIIi" amounts Central -European State universitd. 

synbolic ^^ 
collected to irake some points at these basically free public Institutes of 

h igher leaming. [ i hope to retum to^ 



equally tuition-free urban cx)llege»»k Msscdäaxkx that became my academic hattie 
in New York for nearly forty years] 


-. r 

< i 

^,^ A\J /)M '^ 


tact waSpQt^Bj^gjmthatr I ne^ther ^cxight^iio^^ 

contacts with my SWiss fellow students Airing the first year or two^ l^CcH*p- 

f\;y Vjl> \ Wct^ 

I had no desire to talk about our Geiman experiences . Talking would have structur(| 
re^elations along victiin-spectator ].ines v*iich I found disagreeable i 

iwitn: oQii seQrQQrha l 

[^ e /y\ t'/ 

^TSalance^ßeing _ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Shop talk on university topics, ^^KHgcB^xsgmfccgagHtgxx xkKft^^ the qri,et warmth 

. 1 got along easily^witn r 

of wf professional 

ry^-^ c \^^^^ ^ c> v> 

in n^ sep minars , in the library, even in the 


C r'"!»-- ,- -V 

f .^ 




give and take of the small everyday transactions with strangers doing 

threats ■" 

their jpbs without txaat» , the ordinary becomiggthe , ordinary again, the 

sense*Jf'^y£^£^AAVi,l^fli|i(JACtV^^ ^^-V^ ,' ■ ' • ^'^^' 

But then, Lotte and I were intenselWxDpcemed with each other j^recisely 
while, and inaybe because, we did not '^^S£S:X &" gj^ e j^ ^ of - our deepest fear/about 
Berlin and the cairps in Eastem Europe. We did not try to irnagine tiM^ 
fey tRiy x kk uniitiaginable.although I kept searching for docunients that \^ä^ 
might throw light oijiiny f ather ' s disappearance f rom Warsaw ghetto in June 
1942, and on tksxKxxKHKisiaHEKsxHf the disappearance]^ tÖö^'Transport from 
^k^K Berlin in late September 1942. Our - my - uncertainties äs^sHsä / / 

sV^^oh Y)y\,^ sharpened the sting of our togethemess. And with the fury of the 

V^V-i öo 

* ■ > 

threw myself into the opiates afci.hand, comnunity service in'-whateyer form, 

^Tdoctsral aissertätion-l-firiTii^Wiir- 1 ■ vro^HHl^w-öiäFs tayedHity welöö^ — 

liiuü und lei5'%±)t|:le pressure put on me/the a^a^l*' 
/■ ' ' 

/ .fonns I was told to sign, the ratiij^s thafe It wa^ ,-pn teraporary suf f rance «Ihat 

l ^^rr.T.^.i^ / j ^^3^^ ^g ^^^^ ^^ ^ did^'-Ttoäv,^ 

/^ Ka</^ •*^^^^ I began to resent the 

<i /L 

ä^^-^. p ^ <ijy 


:reedom/|L make-believe liberty". 
These were moods, of course: 1 Had conie through the utinost 

threat of the l^st 8 months in Berlin with haio^aising luck, 

^ JLlLyX ^ / M^. ^ p ublic y( pibüKx 
9äiQB in a sea omiiser y and dsgjxsDocü^K orga 





It had shaped iw behavior betond acting out my Underground role: 
And I had remained reseanonably cheerfuj., and hopeful, even optimistic 
as time went on in our Underground lives: each passing day seemed 
to bring us closer to the escaperwe were able to plan with the help 
our friends and the Schoenebergs , lotte's uncle and aunt in 

Lausanne. Yet 



nur lives, caution, distrust watchfulness , rational controls fontied the 
underpinnina of oard pretended lanconcem. It may well have been the 


need toje on our guard v\dienever we moved in German scbciety i±Lät made us , at 1 

l Tc\e,' take risks th§± challenged löie others to discover vdio we had been in 

reality.Delayed adolescence itiay be too siirple an« explanation for v\^at 


d QHcs^ry 

I recognized aterwards as alinost conpulsive risk-taking 

^' ' «a^HXKxment , 

an emotional protest against the cxinstant self-control Underground 

life iitposed on nie. 


Now/ 1 was ^ neai^fre^3CTS^^.and at the goal of my 


/ -. /. 


lifein Berlins . the defensive meechanisrr/that saw me through the extreme 

dangers in Berlin ha d lost tli e ir pua^ose.^the mstance between 

the "real seif" and the role and the vigilance that /^aäraeä this 

distance had to be replaced by the spontaneity of relaxed links 

with an outside world that had lost its threat. It was an often long and 

tedious road "back to nontalcy" in relations to the Christian [swis^ world. 

* >^ 

This of course is not the place to c^^scribe it. When conversations touched 
this point, I would joking l^frefer a::**txes^§^7^ to ^ my'"'^^fatRet'^~^^^ 

confessor^ or to ny "anäJystV, W "shrink" in New York none of whoon 
I had^the privilege of counting among ny acquaintances in a professional 
capacity. In New York,I took part in several biographical or interview 
projects that guided me to a better understAanding of soine of the 
processes ^f^a^^^^r surviAvors experienced in their tetirrm to "normalcy". 

i^ IoäU«/»'«^ 


cxDrebecause webested them eveiry day 
survived, ,our incredd^ble , ^cxxi luckde^pößea by the | ifl f 'c t e i^l g i I 

\J t^ ^"^ 

risks we tcx)k - (linnecessarily - \ ^. enierged victori6u^*';wir Hatten ^^ 

obsiegt. . , ItocxkHTExiH Switzerland^its overv\^eln[>|)ngly varied and 

beautiful natö^ee Hsä its picture-book hästpric eitles, HKä the 

decencjr oyxtfe and culture crf-a huHen^conimunitilSFaz persecution 

had tumed into horror for nie in Germany. ~ Switzerland had accepted m e 

tenporarily, l expected nothing more. There ,were so itiany diffiaict steps 

to leam now, so many scars tiiT tti'mi ii jit^ to /eal, so many distorted percep- 


ions to corr 

and trust to be restored that had been destroyed on 

the edges of the abyss we had evaded, 

For this long road back to a normalcy I had.known only in 

iny childhood and early youth.l had 

in €hoosing 

the univerffiity and the cammunity of Bein. I had cho^sen them because 
I had sought the beauty and restfulness of a historiOniddling town 


that promised urbane cosnpolitan bi-linguality. unhurried attention to 

I needed to 

lose the sense of 


i-^Li^^-^-J^!^ ^^ Obsession than a -möä/ Äaess^sUÄtii 

my fra^ured education^ had left me with - prob- 




Goll^eA levels 

in New York and spent ^^ars to ^jofjtf ^y ^i 

to 1 1 vm^ n ii^fh mv se^t^-^^^^irssi^^ perf ectionism « 

I nrmip^i|iji my 
It suited my needs to a T that the Cantonal Bducation Authority had made 

II ^ T TT« J_ II TI . * L ' 'ö' ^A 

General History - Allgemeine Geschichte - a comerstone of its cducati-Q- 
nÄ program (in addtion o SWiss hitorf )V -^ju|ifi^n35e niversity had been foun- 

ded in the first half of the 19th Century^ ^3^ was my good fortune to 
find an mspired teacher of tkxsxüisdsTi European history xMfe^HBdÖ in ^ 

■"•■ ^- - • .tULv^approach to ' constitutional history. -he^ 

Werner Naef and his r^wpa 


C C \: i av lA 1 K- 

off er Tsm enough.AkiigtodkKXEinistory and enrKbgh of ihEX 


ß Miyvri)VN 

pre-1914 ijy ig wltwc i 

in the conservative style of 

Germani historijans uf Uiu QinjiTu to 

anchor my progress inijb social and cultural history that vvould becoiiie 


to New York. 

»■^ i 1^ 1 ij i ■ ]! y^or^--i ^p.|r)p^p.p - ^nc:d^ ^^rr''Tnp 


Scholar in my post-graduate 


^^TTsi^^iir^ ^^nf^ijf^^ in Bern, New Yqj^c, and Berlin- 

hopereully in due courseMy story of Bern wold not be ca;plite if I did 

not/try to report on xK^^cxibtfexHsxaKXKf^sEgKs:^ on the refugeee camiuity* 
and/ its spiritual head . Gertrud Kürz , 

'JSR andand on t^e (small) v^sh cop^regation Bern. and its rabbi 

Eugen-Mes bine i diid his f i ie i idship with u o , - duJLiiiy uui bLay -ther-ev 









face and transf orm. iimake the best" and not waste energy 




i L 

\ . 



Verbal J C\j\a^atlt^ 

fMasochism was not in my kkümxäx a nvironmen t . T 



of having been saved from destruction would long give me 


perspectives on difficulties I would encounter. Clearly,/ r i 
he Swiss internment System had XKXKiyiR^xlxHMx been niud'finiiLcL » 

military modeis applied to civilian emergencies like 

A ■ — — >— — 1 

housing larger numbers of refugees or foreign units of^'^oldiers 

seeking asylum - campsfor emigres and refugees v^ere introduced 

upon the request of the SWiss Army command 

to siJppTement' its scarce manpower pool and assist farmers in 

food production. prance-^iad interned ±xs foreign ref ugg o c 

in highly inadequate and unhygienic militray -syle camps 

after the war broke out in 1939. England had aäispitKä Winsto.»n 

Churchill 's directive of 1940 and interned all able-bodied 

"enemy aliens"^^^^|^^^ö^( "Collar the lot !") in part in former mil 

I I i 
military ba-rracks , the "Kitchener camps" of World War One. 

This at least was the explanatiOn offered by the/§overnment Whit 
>Paper of 1957, the Ludwig- Bericht , the need f or ^0^?" while 
Swiss universal military service/^Hrite^criir+^eft-s-i-^^-^^ deprived 
industry and farmers of the labo^ they needed to satisfy domesticl 

■ _ - _ • ■ 



\lJOr{ " 

^.xXkwa iHoU ^u^tjL xhbcU^t, " ' "r 

liAkKAUiL , bjjdie pdHjL^|juji&7a]ia^o ther -ifta-fci^ir±^^j,. The ariny 
command, headed by the universally respected war-time gener^l 
Henri Guisan, appears at^strategic points in t>e documents on 
^^'^^2 A sylp olitik requesting limitations of the number ^ 
of (Jewish and non-Jewish) Asy/anten ^^r-tfonl d nnnp-irim- 
aeeep1ra-bi«— S6^,jefence measures and disposition of troops 
m depth behind frontiers ha^Mn^j -highes t national priority. 

rTräWl:Tm^> 7roops were.called upon by the citv.'i- 

^' ^^«iviiian authoriti 


.oJnsA^'^ r'f "'"'' * ^"' 


to a&s4rstM/hen local (cantonal) police feit overwhelmed 

by sudden increases in the number of refuqees seeki 



J. I to cros; the frontiers. qinnp a^-mw +-^-,,- • ^ 
tfflA^^ training,at least at that etime^d 



MiäxK«kx±K«±HM«presuinably did not include^ policin^ civilians > ■'< 
disoriented by fear and panic/clashe/ may have occ urred. Aririy 

/ »1 




rmers image of Jewish traders over the cen 
rK. if fraii coun|tGr to Lh e prohlLI L TrAri <-^xS\ 

documents .ri^iKa^ of the ,period point out that the Sviss populatio 

^'^'^n^T\^T''"" "' 4Lii^Wguests consuming tight or rationed 
food ia^xllx^xias without working for it, an cid canard in the 

^R ^ühroreigners, immihgrants, 
guests, vAsitors, Asylanten^^ ref ugees^Sh' K^nsiderable ^^^^^^ 
^^ pressure f rem the most diverse economic interests groups ».cludin.g 
even the Swiss W riters' AssUiat ion . ^ ;/ b/l^'l^'t) Kr / ßjlffi'^^'t 
_t_J -.--It may not hav e been accidental thatKSKigHisHrjc / 

Qfeven voluntary Services <r 1 

abor camps/fo r refugees were established b ybe Bern Alien 


lie in the early Summer of 194fc At U-hnui- m-.^ c.^ 

__^.»_____ _i,, ^>> - :^ - - - -^ -i:, ,.,^ ^^f^ - Ar / a Dou t tne same time, France 

.«SX2«3±^K^ had drafted able-bodied aliens into labor bataiHon 
and .»f,^^,^-,, interned refugees in^dKngland conoentrate 

ted German and Italian 

aliens" in a va riety of improvised 
camps, from old military barracks and tents to empty hoteis, 
prisons, schoolf^oms^or private homes . Äx»«j«rx««Ht«KgHKixxx The 
isle Of Man, a traditional vaca.tion spot, wou^"i'4' ' J a .ajor 

concentration area for bothUn and vomen from late 1940 on 





f«^^iat^ ^iien^ .. collar the Lot!",.|(P a L Glli;;;rn , -T o 1 1 a r tiri;o 

d memo . 

Lonaond etc 1980 , 147 - 161, rB£xc?309,^ NIgel Ronal 

,,,;^ ^>t , / 

t^TTS sTüTemefrt-Jio "t he chaos'ove/ the Italien diplomaticfList " \ 




}"' y j 

reflect^ the belief that German ' s unexpectel BLitz-Sieqe 

in Western Europa in 1940 had been If^^^ö« by "Fifth ColUmnsV 


agents i)s^ £jji fe ni' r- L u /,] Iw'tiifti 

\0' ^ •' 

from Nazi Gg rmany öT 

Austria , jfcikiäxiKKix or /parachutfe^| lnl u leai — Jiudi^ OJtli Liiü ü pb ji»^ 
wearing civilian cloths or non-German uniforms. Swiss diplomatic 
\ and military reports reflecting intense (and misplaced) 
Ij^steria over this threat may well have b^^Kxxx^^^^|^ÄiÄi^x::cx 

^ic?öfi^^??{i^$8^iS2§^Sfi^^Swiss Fluechtlingspolitik during war=time 



^^ although it is nowehere's spell.ed vout in detail in :5isKSilxx 

"^ J ft^v^"^^^ Mf^^^^ published documeni^5/4^ 194^"i^ the Brotish government deport 

' A ^ ^Z I j\iQa\ Canada and Australia with s^gnificant losses of life 

and firced to ^^ ägrfe§ll^sSßM§Hħ^afet&8J^s^gFtAe^M§fi^s^§ä^^ 

I \A ^ vv-<^Vi\AV^ -j hupreds of /Germans and Italians internecj as enemy aliens to 


heavy labor. 

the US War Refuyee Board transported about 980 refugees 
(Yugoslavs and Itlains) from Southern Italy to the USA on America| 

l^i^gf illegal^ arrivals 
can bottoms and interned them as '^ r tr on quota- " — jgi^itSiciiRÄS 

near the Canaiian border in an abandoned f ort (C5ntario , nearOswegol 


before admitting them in February 19466 -^ 'J- 

New York) JtftMi ^«ÄX^xxyx^^SXSxxx ^g immiarants 

xaiCMXKxMKiÄXüiKgxfckK British policies towards Jewish immigratin 

ion to 4=€^«ilmaft^^^fc^ Palestine, the internment of thousands 

in Cyprus or Mauretania ' 

of "illegal" olimKseizedf rom often .^rickety bj5)ats attemTOinq to 1 

ll^iU ^likRMLhbüu» belongs to the fi a^ »rrirn .aLi^_ j=Lf ^rvicyB ig f-' t h ^ ^j^^n^ra^^ — 

ctionisirr' t"?rHi: world'Vide Jewish migration faced since the 
"Great Depression" on all continents and in all potential immi- 

äJ^J^X^^ countries . 

D , > r' 

1 had known of the "migration emrg ency" in thel930s amd 
1940s in Berlin as SHoeo^ ^i u ü 1 f f i c u 1 L 1 bt bi 7i u d uh 1 iig — Tpnr j f i c 


when I failed in several promising attempts 
L Berlin in th 1930s/and wj^hen 


to emigrate from 






o emitrioo as — Lhe " e miuidLluu tdiiiiueuu v " , di^ Ai].swand grunq f;pr"^TP'n<* 
der d eutschen Juden jbut had been unable to see it 

in .t-icgf^goritextijl^ l JjLuyn^^^ of l e iLi - i^ ^ ^greTatively shoTt break in 
V _ flll ior «^>r 7 " ^ 

the (^m^i^* movement of populations in the 20th Century and of 

Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to the West^^^jai3 to 

'l^ in perso^ 

Palestine /and overseas countries. I had faced it/jwhenj I learned 

from a Swiss authority that/swiss rules had made it e^ ti i i uT y ^ 

return ^L^ ^/i^'^^ 1 ^^ OyO^ l U ^^ 
-p ooBito le for the poilice toU äähh Lcrt U l^ i j a n d i i t ü-^ gjft^-4otJa£j:L. g: 

^schriftenlose und v4- ^aIo e-e Aus;aend|er" , illegal refugees, 

layers «öf this process 

pr ai:i:K^a 

i$X^K lÄ^reft — ^yitr y 

S\j^\^§^ f^-+^^'oi' /T/.It was understood from t he beginning that Swi tzerland'^ 

thatradd up to s- en re percp o ctivo r- 

rA ^^^j^o^^^o^ M^^Uk^^'C?»^' 

. W^l^\J 

/)(Hy<i^ cM^ 

b^^ Yy\0/tK(4/^ 

X^rlTTp 151 # not be4-ttÄr an^v immig raji on ggLKRj^xyx /J3n4^ a 
Guntry «f intermediate/settlement , an emrge^^ncy 

country est mtermeaiate/ semement: , an emrge^ncy stop in 
flight from Nazi threats to life and limb^-^j^^g-^^^^^ DQ ftonorRn by ^ 

ould >vi1^^H^j'^>^ä/^I 

migration organiza tions and interests 


:^a]aE[K±:x3txSxKi±±:±xxxJfcxikHxi:±naHit:jcx Pfer^-^J^wish Community was 
minuscu)le, ,about 19.000 stronc^t , ^a iid InL ' lUdL^d 1 


e ontig e n t er i mm i g r q n t c . t 

ninusci^ie, ,aDoui: iy.uuu srrong.^aniu inc 

^_. ...„^ ^ ^ j^^^^x.^-™, -^ j,.^^ i^y ^ ^^ ^;^-i npd a p larft — i n Jowi&h hib t 

t- n ry wh Q n fh p ritK Qf BaRle b^-r nm^ MMm l i'' » « ^ ! ■-■F— ^^!^^ — EJLrja-L--Z4^j;^i*-t 

CÄy^ t^ Wf\U 

gress" in 1897^ In the inter-war period /^^riiu i e ^a s ingly siace 

the advent of the TH 

the inter-war period;^ — niu fOQ G ingly 
ird Reich,A Geneva , the seat of 



the League of Nations, and Zuerich, it largest city and main 

fiancial center, attracted K^anch Offices or representatSves 
CO""* jof mahor S.sK±s.k Z4 oni3t or diaap org Jowiah orgq - fiiaat - ion -s-^jlrg'" 

t> v^^a'f. 

s^ cortjgres^c 

and a ^L'^xll ¥? SfeÄl^^ C^ä#^J^^ ^ makor h:tb 

i v\ w^ 

-f iMi^ 



In 1914, the Federal Political Department (Foreign Affairs 


Charge of resciprocity treaties with forei 

gn cou ntrie^s 

/iumbbiib uf SwlidS ^lJL ±x^ 

/• impi uved.-'eL' uiiuiiiiL. oppor Lu iil Li — e 

"^f OJ^ 


C' r 

^1 '^ 

lization of aliens, if need be f orcfe^ü 

visedAthat faster natrura- 

bw P(;r^c J la,^^ 

'Tirzr sL t i ofi 


I I 


r •' 

(not": ) 










local and cantonal to 

3. Th^ ^bureaucratic shift from 

OQucraGioo paralleled a shift from earlier> 



— K 




ri^omantic ylorif ication of the stalwart peasant or mountain 





rdrf liii 


\^-Uri <^<5»vivnuM\ 



<Pi^ Cy^JjVO^^i 


•AWi (;wi|-o»('>' yO u v> lf 07 i^e^ b^ /i/ci-l-vyrsfctiKiZi/'» 

ö Sl^^»# roots in tlie soil^, Hrg;HHxxHäxHi\3ili^ksxiHX 



'« MQt - ure. j-^rc - G ü r/vatioft 






and hiking clubs/\ writers creating 


a HeirP^atliteratur in local dia 

iects^. THi^ ^wiss Heimat beweg unq 

oöcourse. expressed a broader European nostalgie 






nature and escape^the complxities of moidern life/the "masses 

VW »rV 



ta) ^i^eturn t^o 

congregatmg m cities made- poss-ible by modern technology, the 
commecccial revAlution, industrial production and the railroads. 

AS far as the newly eraancipated Jew became identified with 
thismodern world, ^S^-TTgggri,rdr ation^l^sRf ^carried overtones of 

rn World, ^Se-'TTgggr l-rdr a t i o n A 1^ s itf carri 

Iped to r o d o f in e^ 

anti-Judaism and antisemi tism ^and help 


monts ö£ the new pantheon of avantgarde progress>y^ultural 



Almost from its beginnings diiiring the First World Watr. 
the föderal Fr^mdenpolizei conceived of itsxmission in terms 

of this Zeitgeis t; the mission was to defend the Swiss population 

t not merely aganinst an excescjisive increase of aliens 
residing in the country but thus to help preserve the^^ 
authenticity a-S/sSwiss nation ^^ , their culture, their "Wesen"/ 
AGAIMST alien5~ "wesensf remde«^^::::^ Elmente. Rghnic grOups that could 

not be assimilated had tois M8«5xftJii by l^i^\^ds^-^lftheir economic 

. • . j^ . . thei r 

activity promised to compete unduly with Swiss counterparts . 

The determination of a person's "Wesen" appeared to be left to the 
flexible consensus between cantonal governments , i . e . their alien 

police depar tments, the commun 



tii^'e would be 

livmg in, and the federal police department ^.Q _p. forn ii^ ^ . Hi hj'-^ ii^ 



the ultimate arbiter. 

During the refugee emergency created by Nazi 
brutality and persecutioian , economic considerations no doubt 
weighed high on the scaiale of factors in this determination. 
The Western world was in the throes of th4 "GReat Depression^^nd 
Swiss statiticson unemployment reflected a & ea £; ona ^ swing of 

peaks and troughs:K.±Kx±±HKxx±i:fe 



jP /)9ai\ a^ y,ßl m^*fO^ 

<*«•* ^jyK H 

M ^S.2^X 















NY 1990^ 




Holocaust a s historic problem a pop opinion and 

Cultural phases of reacsyionsn racdpeyoons 

Novick, cur memoirs, mjor steps in hiography/// 



Oli^ UU 




> .7 U 

J r)^<^'^'^'^ 









^V otes and mefitatioms ca. 1990 
following retiremett. 

Thouhht^ s^^inters of vistas and ^ntext; 
USE: unclear. 


if typeS,testimoniy jtfcrCperiod in my life 

and Emigr history on Switzerland and NY 





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^. \ \ impatient and irritable. Like my fellw inmates, I measured 
the daily annpjanes of camp life by my memories of past 

happiness|[ and by the future I hoped to carve out for myself. 

quiet>4i^X.l^:Ä'^^ hours/the finalrity of 
But as time went by and I f ound iA»^«fco — - 

face) xkkecxK 

ÄfexxÄKxkkfeetxkRxSstRxÄötetX' I began to liveon several levels, as 

learned to acknQ ledge ^ ^ 

it were, Ä5cx^lc^t^xt^0:^sreOTXSBC8^^^§tkx*kSiitkxthe incongruities of 

mi/life, our lives, the Üb- erat . incjdistance, I had tearn to win 

that could not be pushed asidei ^^l^repressed sucesasfully any 

longer. The mourning that began in Sierre and in the ÄKÄKkitötix 

unique J , ''. ^ ^i ^ • 

äR8:^5l lan^öcapes of Lake Geneva and the moun^ams of the valais 

lodged itself on one level of my emotionis.i xi:i:&e even if^^ did 


not allow it tjö dominate our livesland avöided becoming morbid, 

contemplating the a bsolute, meaninqless sla ughter and destiruction 
we had been condemned to ttj liinufcjin. Living differently would have 


ranted the enemy a post-humous victory long after they had been 

wiped off the «XXSK:^ face^of the earth.Fortunately , Lotte and I 
had f ound a - level of irxsMiäskigi intimacy we had not reached 

7-gr s we r rrecr~to cope v/ith v/ha t ■ ha ^i ip^a lj5Zti:::U>-t^3-'txjy4:^^ . " 

It also helped that my fellow internees embodied\a 
folk-experien{:e S^x^gliiSSxXiciciix^^^^s^^^P^^ thajfeT te-my^emaHtie-miWd- 

7 / / // / / / / / Vi 

JEiklXixSieMSSSiMxßgieSSixXS^Xxxxfietteyd jsXÄI^iWjt my own ]äs£ßR^±XHto 

/ I I ""^ \ / ^ ^ 

.'Deen helping t 

ping tc^ defendL 

^.ft4rty fr. 

temperamsnt and had 
before^ as we tried to make the sorrov/ ofour separate pains 


lodging in our memorie^as the facts of the cetastropheA 
lacerated our def ences/into a Joint emotional posessTol^/T) 

(C-^ lli^ff/ 

determining us to carry on as our dead would have carried on . 

We had survived but had not won,;, yictory carried no ttiumph, 

it remamed pre posterous and ibrittle }r&^^^ afzfehe on top 
of which we built the new web fefeÄfe we created 


together^ ^ii ii kh' uUUUUU in bUiUillU""^ 

in the unique landscape and historic cult ure of our host 
country . 

During the three years I studied in Bern, 1943 - 

1946, ^e niet good people and made warm friends with asvereal 

in Bern 
SM±sx f amilies throuqh^whom we afesarfcsäx began to under stand 

PoV{X\CoiiL the 

not only the local' cu) Itures that .had remained ij^j^ p -o 1 i 4 grr^ a 1 

f S i\j^' ^c düA^o ^^^ 

basrfs of r -J^b modern c'fittl^SjA but the fundamental 

•1 - • 
integrity and^^sinceri ty at the cor e f tl:^e Swissrj 

mal yüuiiny 

ublic persona/?.^ 
:±&K t. ^f^i^om. dlalec\;jf!^^7 Jl^ 

yfBi^ifli' Ifti) 

R^pnh Q]]y- gn-jmmoKg -j ]q ^hn Y ii 1 Fi j T 1)1011 11 1 ^ j ^ ^ 45 minSuted 

^n 1944/1945pi I ¥i $0 giJiWi l^t^^X^ Q ß(^ iuTh if^ 
w\ frnm %^ nrrPT H^xg-^^n^iTT 7?7iinii'.~ with one of the outstanding 

ii:afe@?p|i§fe§g§ of the Swiss federal tradition, Prof . Richard 

'änd profited greatly from his precise Knowledge and nv^ 


l Meui 

At midnight on June 13, 1943, I fled from Nazi Germany to 

free Switzerland: ^xK^^^xggi^g^^Kgä My Jewish youthiÄxiäÄÄiSiäiifeÄiäxx 

is descrcibed 
in Germany in an earlier memoir 

/ " In the Eye of the Storm." 
The last eight months had been the worst of times ix&x&x 

haäx^HXHHäMXHx. Lotte, my close friend of those years äwd mv 
hr I ^ ' 

ife 4^ nearly sixty years, andl had ÄXÄiäÄäxÄXXÄÄtxÄRiäxdÄ^axtÄtiÄ: 


scaped the Gestapo that had come tp arrest f or - a t r ns^^ gzfcyHron 


^ ^J Uy- i' to HXEKMixHRx a iNJzj[, jci 1 1 1 Hg groünd near Riaa, Latvi^^^^a^fiff 

^ AJLajlua 



^<rf 8 inQnth9)in Berlin. Ttte^r- wo si ur^j^ved -we 

» urvi 

^ ftwcV'-^^v ^° *^* relatives and friends XK8x«i:e Geirmans and Swiss, / , 
iv*^ - . )- " Chri stians and Jews,even to tirr^&e whobecame our friendswi^n they 

iAXt WAV' 

^"^--^t^---ö**'--^^*^3™iTTai:^t«f*TiiTt'-tX)-Tteld withoüt re&istance, J^,j/ / 

^ \s\\V^ ^ involved t 


f Vx*'-^ ^flV-l^t themselves in our fate. An*r~ef -cour^e , i^bre than, oncej 

"^„'^ ^^^ 



credible luck-We had not "chosen" Switzerland as a place of 
refuge.^Tnce"l940, tbe-Q6iwtxy had been surrounded by Nazi 
i-^^^j^ an^ fascist armies. Against tfee expectation of many , the 

SWiss remained f ree ,^ fiorr%d tö produce goods for the German 



P , \\ /^^^k~Ji,y^^ machine in exchaNGE FOR the isisiä imposrts they needed to 

H Ua,^ ry^^^L.J^^'^ their\5>illion people.v er keepiag abces to internatrional mo 

^ money ikÄSxkRjJÄ o pen when- B^lin needed to buy raw 
/ / materials and weapons for ^l^ts aggress ions. Lotte' s unclsae 

and aunt, the fschoenebergs , had settled in Lausanne after 
acquiring ArgentiI?iarJcitizenship . Even without Ais determining 
role in oylur flight, the other war-rime neutral(^s in 

Europe- Spain, Poartugal , ':sweden 

V(A^^ Q>^ 

would be -^nmuch more haz§rdous to reach than SWitzerland, 

a night *s trainride away from Berlin. And Swi tzerland , we learned a 


after we arrived,hadx«Kgcj$$ßexö?x"people ' s army" of well-trained , 

and - 
motivvated citiizens and had opted to defend the Alpine passes 

and, if need be , destroy them if the Nazis woul(?i t^ÄKkx have 

tried another Blitz krieg. (Long af ter the war, the question 

which of these forces and factors prevented that catatsrophe 

kept dividing historians and public opinion in Switzerland to 

this day ) . 



public protests. It had been enforced at Western and Southern Stretches of the frontier where 
insufficient cantonal police forces feit swamped and threatened by the sudden amval of thousands 
of Jewish refugees fleeing deportation in Holland, Belgium, and France in the Spring of 1 942: the 
Nazi occupiers had begun to arrest thousands of Jews in these countries and intern them in camps 


before sending them to their death in Eastern Europe. Thousands fied tov/ards the Swiss frontier j 
mrÖLOf the Rhine TFvertratthey-ivefeiJeFGeiv^ aparrtom the-^^fress^ef fogttlves-^^ 
Holland or Belgiuni[ Jews from the large centers of Jewish urban settlement in Germany proper did 
not have the organized supporVenjoyed by Jews in France beginning to organize resistance during 
those years as wprkers were being rounded up and sent to German factories. Similarly, the large 
numbers of Italians seeking refuge in Switzerland across the Southern and Western frontiers had 
been supported by a broad ränge oTinstitutions like monasteries and local churches. They included 
a certain number of Jewish families fleeing the outbursts of antisemitism while the fascist regime 
collapsed j2if tried, in a last gasp of energy, to link German-style antisemitism with their neo-or late 
fascist traditions. 


These massive movements of Jewish populations and the passivity of Swiss 
elected officials, military leaders or bureaucrats in position to know (like the Red Gross leadership, 
or the intelligence sections of the military^or the numerous Channels available to the Foreign Office 
Political Department) in Bern had not entered^Jewisfr media like the Juedische Wochenblatt (?) 
available to me in Bern or other eitles where Jews lived in some numbers. Information on the 

beginning Jewish catastrophe was suppressed everywhere; Washington and London sought to 
avoid linking the sacrifices their people were forced to Shoulder with the idea they these were 
needed to save the persecuted Jews - "a Jewish war". 

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PAGE 02 



I, Schafthausen prison. Buesserach 
quarantine, Sierre Labor Camp 
June 13, 1943 - December 1,1 943 

VI 't> 

03/11/2001 16:55 2152477639 


PAGE 03 


1. Prison and Camps 1943 

03/11/2631 16:55 




PAGE 9^ 


'The Swiss don't shoot that fasf the frontier guard had seid, hi$ face turning red, visible 
even under the partly cloud-covered moon that June night m 194^Vut2 and I had crawted and 
crouched and tun for what seemed anj interminaWe time across the fields and the highway 
^viding Gernfian police Observation and patrots of frontier or custonns guards. My dosest war-time 
friend Lotte and l had survived seven months of honnetessness in h^i^ Berlin, hiding from the Nazi 
Gestapo against being deported to our death in Eastern Europe for the crime of being Jews Our 
parents and friends, an entire ccsrnopolitön^civilization. men women and children, had been 
destroyed. The end had come on February 27 and 28, I943ithc last 7,000 Berlin Jews had been 
roünded up at their places of forced labor and püt on trains. "Berlin judenrein" was to be Goebbers 
gift for Hitiet's birthday on April 20^^ -Lotte and I would have been among those caught in their 
deathly dragnet if we had not escaped by a hair's breadth and wtoa few seconds >e«Ö feur months 
earlier. We had survived in the capital of Nazi Germany with the incredible luck of the young - and 
just as incredlbly courageous help of Christian and Jewish friends and acquaintances. Hiding Jews 
might have destroyed their civic existence or brought about their murder. I had to learn late'f;not to 
judge people's integrity by the Standards they had been $etting./\ v\ ovr ^i^* 

From early on, our flight into hiding in Berlin had impressed on Ludwig and 
Schoeneberg. Lotte's 6migre uncle and aunt in Lausanne, how desperate our plight was, ai.d how 
^ hepetesafiding Underground would become as the Nazis faced certam defeat. The Schoenebergs 
brought us in touch with a Swiss Red Gross delegate in Berlin, a Chance acquaintance of theirs, 
whose assignment, liaison with Allied prisoner-of-war camps in Germany, atlowed us and l-otte's 
1/ relatives to by-pass Germaa mail censonship. While we had l|yed precariously in Berlin and 
obtained papers whose bearers' identities we could assume with some plausibiüty, they found a 
smail network of helpers who knew their way across the frontier to Switzerland. After much 
heartbreak, Lotte couid be convinced that she had to leave Berlin first and help me and a dose 
friend and fellow Student. Lutz Ehrlich, to follow, Dunng the confusion expected to attend travel on 

1 1 /' 

03/11/2001 16:55 2152477699 


PAGE 05 


May Day, then a Nazi holiday, she succeeded in reaching Switzerland in broad daylight, guided 

across the frontier disguised in rural Sunday finery by a Swiss-German couple. Six weeks later, 
Lutz and I made usepf a 


/ 'I 

similar travel crunch expected for Whitsuntide, the traditlonal start of the '^Myi(L 

German picnic season.Good Organization, good identification papers, and good luck helped us to 

pass Gestapo controls on the trains and M the frontier :yescaped[British^^ a P.O,W. 7 V 

camp were expected to seek the Swiss frontier When a well-infonned acquaintance. a Jewish 

Jurist whose career in governnient Service had been wrecked by the NaziSypassed the news of this 

escape on to me on the eve of our departure from Berlin, tension had already eased; hi$ contaas 

had assured Wm that Ihe officers had turned north towards Denmark and its escape route across ^'' 

/i '^ 

the North Sea to England. 

We deaded on making the break and succeeded, again with great good luck, the help of good^ 
Christian friends, and intensa caution to pass through the tight spots Our ^sseuTvaGerrr^arf "^ ^ ^ ' 
factory werk«r;lfiarr»ed to a Swiss woman,> church-goer;;had taken us from the railroad Station of 
Singen, ^provinciä center near Lake Constance, to a knoll m the woods overlocking a strip of no^ 
r\ man's land.-The Nazis still patrolled diligentty on fcot and bicycle aiong a road runnmg alongside 
the frontier. 

Our Swiss contact in Berlin had warned us that pressure on the Swiss frontiers by 


Selgium^nd VIchy France. On August 6. 1942, the Federal Swiss Police Department (Mimstry of 

• xv^ cÜ i^'/Z- 

Jewish fugitives had greatly Increased^with the ' onset of the deportation of Jews from Holland, 

Justice and Police) and the Bundesrat (Execufeve Council of heads of departments [ministersj) had 
closed the frontier to all Jews seeking asylum. The terrible consequences of this decision had been 
met by an outcry of Swiss political, civic and religious teaders. It was soon eased under its impact, 
In spite of this, refugees were still sent back by customs and military guards if they were 
appfßhended near the frontief, unless they could prove that they were in ioimineni danger of life. 
The tragedy inposed on European Jewry by the Holocaust had become puWished Knowledge in 

03/11/2001 16:55 2152477699 


PAGE 06 



Switzeriand in the course of 1942, but perceptions of national interest, industrial and financial ties 
ij with Germany^and the fear of being "overrun" fUeberffemduna) had competed with Swiss civic 
Ideals and brought about deniate of the ; genocide. Even I, tfie victim marked for death, was 
unabie to accept it as a fact at thal time 


regret to this day tliat I caused the Swiss frontjer guard embarrassnwnt: he 

obviously had no Orders or authority to push us back into Nazi Germany. Instead.tie took us to his 

' post where his colleagues oftered us coffee and cai^Q the local police officer to pick us up The 

hour was i^ well past midnight. He arrived on his bicycle, walked us to his Station, and wrote out 

a formal arrest Warrant (Report: Arrestation ) in which he took down the bare facts we had given 

him Early nexi morning (Whirsuntide Sunday) he delivered us by train to the Cantonal Prison in 

Schaffhausen whose duty detail had been alerted to our comJng. They placed us into a sizeable 

cell containing, it turned out, two Russian escapees from German forced labor, and a Polish officer. 

Next day, ^J1onday morning, a three-day interrogation by a police officer began for each of us 

separately. It covered a wide variety of intense and searching questions that feil into Clusters 

quickly and touched on condiöons and experiences in Berlin, such as resistance groups and 

activities. avilian morale, lue supply Situation, the effect of Allied Propaganda and Allied bombing, 

the State of Information on the warjand the milltary, and populär opinion on vjctory or defeat, 

reactions to family members being killed in action, views of the leaders, etc. A separate sedion 

dealt with the drcumstances of our hiding, our travel and the crossing of the frontier. It was a 

thorough "debriefing' turned into | pleasant conversation»- 1 wanted the Swiss to know all I could 

teil them except the circumstances of our escape, white protecting friends and helpers in Berlin or 

near the frontler. The police ofRcer \Nho took down my vague descriptions of the topography at the 

frontier seemed most helpfui in pinpointing the route I must have used after leaving Singen staton. 

In the end, I was asked to sign a Short two-page summary protocol on my arrest. He 

03/11/2^01 16:55 2152477699 


PAGE 07 


countensigned. "Bruetsch, Pol." I presumed, probaWy correctly, that my exhaustfve description of 

war-fime Berlin mjght have been forwarded to Swiss miJitafy intelligence^ 

About six weeks later, I understood that this interrogation by Offlcer Bruetsch-Maeder (his füll 

name) had been a near farce I chuckied about it for a long timeand took it as good omen for the 

realities 1 would encounter in Switzerland. That he had been the first policeman in uniform who was 

not the enemy was new enough. On the second day in prison, June 15, he asked me to fill Ott an 

application for a Swiss identity paper that would give me the Status of a civilian internee - 

RugQhtlinq - presuming föderal approval. I did not grasp that filling cut this application signified 

that we would not be returned to Germany. I did not mind being interfed, and did not think about it: 

ple gphw^j , ^ had admitted me for the time being. and policeman Bruetsch conducted himself in a ^ 

most civilized manner. But the joke was on me. Herr Bruetsch-Maeder already knew all about me. 

He had Interrogated Lotte six weeks earlier and had been assigned^ iol*eTötte from^^ *^ 

I Schaffhausen to a quarantine camp above Lausanne, dose to her uncle and aunt's residence in 
Lausanne, in delicate Swiss consideration for her family tles to Ludwig and Ilse. They probably had 
drawn the attention of authorities to this fact Herr Bruetsch-Maeder could be persuaded to take 
Lotte to her relatives to let her take a bath, and white there, Herr Bruetsch-Maeder told the 
Schoenebergs about severä ways in whwh the German surveillance Systems at the frontier could 
be beaten. Ludwig and Ilse took down his p»iw; they revealed intimate knowfedge of the ten-ain 
and included the Option of swimming the Rhine (the fi-ontier) near Stein am Rheinf^Hen- Bruetsch- 
Maeder-s written instrudioas reached me forty years later when I found them among Ludwig's 
personal papers Ilse sent to Berlin in the niid-1980's. I do not know whether Hen- Bruetsch-Maeder 

' The fjies cJeposited on my "ca$e" by tbe Federel Police Department witn (he FederaJ Archive$, both in 3em, in ttie 
1950'8, to which I had been gjven acce$s when I requested it in the 1 990*$, included oniy a 1 % page sunmary d facts 
related to oor lltagal entry. A nsquast to search for the rest in intslligenc« trtc$ was refused, as expected. They were 
wly ftfty years dd by then. I did not ask if Swilzertand had a freedom-of- information proviacn to allow forrrar 
intemees access to thejr Dies. 

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PAGE 08 

had assumed that 1 had followed his plan, but he must have believed that I had misied him about 

the circumstances of my crossingjn truth, I had only vague notions of terraln and place names. it 
was a comedy of errors on both sides. When I learned about the story a few weeks later in 
Lausanne, officer Bruetsch-Maeder had shaped nny view of the nrioral independence of some Swiss 


During our first family trip to Europe in 1958, twelve years after we had arrived in 


New York, we showed Jane "our prison" and held a cheerfui reunion with Bruetsch-Maeder. retired 


and his family. No word was said about the escape plan ot which I had been tdd aM\/t but that l 
had not yet seen. We nierely smited at each other through mutually understood veiied hints He 
was too sober a man and too strong a personality to need recognition and labeis like "unsung 
hero', I hope that seeing our small family had given him the warm satisfaction of having done right, 
without Publicity or exhit>itionism, in following the human^ tracStions of his country; Mensch and 
Buerger . pe wtto^ ii \ wh q ^ H civic rights in-btlaf»3prt conMSt with public power (Staat e would be 
Y the theme of my/idissertatipn, an attempt to explain oneioot of the German catastrophe (aÖ.). — ' 
// Schaffhausen prison wa§ the only prison I would ever know from the inside, but I do not remember 
much of what I saw during the five days I spent there. I must have been completely euphoric after 
seven months of very tense play-acting in hidmg andfthe daily dangers of being discovered, or not 
knowing where to stay at night. The truth about the murder of my father and Lotte's parents, of my 
friends and acquaintances. the destruction of Jewish mstitutions, the end of German Jewry, had 
not yet penetrated ^emotional life, It would take quite some time to accept these realitjes/ ivL' 
decompression made this a friendly prison. 

The two Russian fellow prisoners had asked for a Russian book and received the 
only literature the prison library held in their ianguage - a Bitte. They sat earnestly in a corner and 
disputed what they had read> possibly for the first time in their üves, a religious experience in the 
making, as I romanticized what l did not understand. Our Polish fellow prisoner knew Gemian and 


03/11/2081 16:55 



PAGE 09 



expressed deep hatred for Ihe" Russians: he had Seen Russian atrocities when the German 
armies overran Minsk in 1941-42 (?) and the Russians had mjrdered prominent Poles in town 

^fore r gi oRt i ntt» ^ On^lhe third day, we sought to relieve our tensions and the beginning tedium: ^ 0\aa4^ 

With nrwre conviction tnan art 'we san^all the Choral pleces we remembered from recorcte or the 
concert hall, without ever having seen Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus , where everytwdy sincjs in 
prison in the third act. The next day we were led for a walk into the prison yard and received a 
cacophonoüS welcome from our Swiss feliow prisoners shouting through their cell Windows on 
other floors and banging what sounded like their aluminum plates against the window bars or sills. I 
never learned if they expressed their respect for our escape from tyranny, or their disdain for our 
musical charms. 

For the moment, the present had overwhelmed the past and blocked the future 
from View, Being imprisoned upon arrival may well have carried an unintended advanlage^l would (^ 
write to Leo Baeck, with whom I had studied in Berlin until mid-1942, in my first fetter to London in 
late 1 945: It might have been overwhelming to cope with civk: freedom on my own in the confusion 
of an urban environment. 

On June 1 7, 1943, a police ofTicer escorted us by train to a quarantine camp under 
miiitary controL an Auffan^la^r . in the Jura village of Büesserach. In Basel Station, which still had 
a 19^ Century nostatgia about it betöre its (recent?) modernizaüon, I got off my first postcard to 
inform Lotte and the Schoenebergs of my arrival. (They had already heard about it from their 
acquäntances near the frontier.) Of that camp toO; I retain very few memohes, I do not remember 
the face or name of a Single fellow-inmate or Swiss guard, although the firsi euphoria was yielding ^ , 

r?i slowly to glimpses of "reality^g^Lotte and I began to exchange tetters evefy dayhThere, with 350 
Reichsmarks to my name, I asked her to marry me by slow censored mail from the bottom of my 
pit. Lotte and I had been through almostfour years of hellet had brought us together, for life. to this 
day. We would marry in Bern on March 24, 1944, eight months later, and spend a honeymoon 

Ö '"'-**«*^e..,.,3, "'"^^"«^«^occp,' t""-**^-».., 

«'^ofhtefatureanw;»,.- « ^ '^^'"Ps. The ;,bf;,r. 














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PAGE 1 1 

fei jli6u, 

The daily letters Lotte and I exchangecj trace the 
the solitüde that accompanies forced (ogetherness in a collective. I did not n^et anybody who 
woutd understand the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums I had attended in Berlin, 
my classical and philosophical training, or the commünal involvement that lay behind me. Although 
there were many Jews among u$, especially among the French and Belgian groups, most of them 
6migr6s from Eastern Europe of the 1920s and pre^depression 1930s, they did not understand 
Liberal Jadaism. They had left the traditional usages of theirffölk culture t^ehind, mistaking theK' 
practco of ritual and custom fbr the essence ofyfitrtbw»; and had landed in a lefüst potitical 
actjvism or k popularized Marxisnn. Thelr Utopias continued the future orientation of the^fiessünic 


message. They would not understand why I 'had left so tate'\ and I grew tired of explaining my 
Story to my colleagues-TStereotypes about German Jews, deeply ingrained in Eastern-Jewish 
foJklore, had been reinforced by being transplanted to war-time Western Europe. V^e accepted that 
we were different in large and small ways of thought and behavior^ speech and silence, in what we 
consictefed reality and good manners. Even the few Zionists among them did not fit into my picture. 
WhaHTnited us was the common origin in pre-modern Judaism, the experience of having been 
hunted, having lost members of our families, or at teast having lost sight of them through forced 
Separations and crossing the frontiers into Switzerland. Nobody I remember had come to 
Sv^itzerland to stay They wanted to return (o their families, their apartments and busmesses as 
soon as possibte. Although we retained cordial social relations all around. a Gemnan Jew was the 

/ only German available to focus on/and to release the anguish and sorrow of cur fate. This (jSi^ 

psychological constellation would become constant in my experience aH through my tife 



How I feit about our experiences and about Germany is apparent from letters and 
reports I wrote in Buesserach on Berlin conditions addressed to nobody in particular As I saw it 
then . open Jewish resistance would have been a mad, self-destructive enterprise, since the System 
of informants and police and Party ccntrols reached down to the level of janitors and schooif 

03/11/2881 16:55 2152477699 



1 n 



1 ■ .'l' A 




chjidren, the Hiller youth^ln several surviving tetters, I criticized the arson attempt made in May 

1942 against a crude anti-Communist exhibWon f Pas Soviet Paraties l near the Berlin Schloss 
( LustQyten l Itappeared as a futile, (WI»4yiP^^''^spired Propaganda act^töat cost the lives of 

• .:•' /oy P]t 

1 1, 




the mixed left-Zionist-Communist group of #| young men and women who had carried it out, and [ 
of 500 hostages taken from the staff of the central Jewish representation, the Reichsvereiniaung 
der Juden in Deutschland 250 men had tjeen shot outnght their fanijlies taken to a canp and 
kllied there. I knew of no other focus forAfesistance acton in Berlin, only of widespread 
despoodency among the Germans ! had contact with during those year$-.^Jr6 the loss of family \/ ^ t/^r 
menobers and friends at the Eastern front. I noted that Sociä-Democratic and buergerllcher dissent 
were voiced in private, and mentioned that some German conservatives and some officers openly 
expressed their disgust with the fate of Jews in Eastern Europe I also thought that the opmion of 
2 '•the people" had türned to the^ insight that their ^S9«fcidolatrous fascination with Hitler and his 
successes had now brought them face to face with a disaster they could not avert any longer, and 
that they saw themselves entangled in ever more deepiy^l rated the resistance activites credited 

to the Confessing Church ( Bekenntniskirche ), a dissident group of pastors and churches connected 

with such theologians as Karl Barth in Switzerland or Niernoeller in Berlin, as deserving respect, / V\iV^^ ^' ^'^'^^' 

but of small practical effect, and mentioned several examples of courageous individual acts of 

resistance against Nazi brutalities and police interference. I noted also that the Protestant 

establishment churches and the vast majority of /Protestant and Catholic clergy could not be 

counted on to volunteer even a few non-committal words of Support and comfort to the Jews they 

saw suffering before their very eyes. Natlonalism or institutional self-preservation took precedence. 

The clergy faiied as fellow residents on this miserable planet, and they faiied in terms of their own 

religious prescripöons When I had met Leo Baeck, one of my teache^i Beiliiusshortly before he 

was deported to Theresienstadt, m his Berlin apartmen[TnTM3]|7ie had pointed to 1i^ empty 

chairs in his living room: They (the Protestant and Catholic church dignitaries he had summoned 

03/11/2001 1&:55 2152477639 


PAGE 1 3 

in 1933) sat here when I calied for solidary action before they too would be targeted " They had 

refused his request for joint resistance. Only small groups among Catholic leaders, Jewish youth 

groops and the non-establishnnent Protestant churches in Berlin had resistance records. At that 

time, I knew only of a few men and women of conscience like pastor Grueber and Dr. Sylt and their 

cowori<ers in Berlin who had iried to assist Christians of Jewish ancestry. Scandinavian churches 

Had set up an 'Underground raiiroad" to spirit "non-Aryans" across the Balte Sea, or the Oresund, 

• '■■:><•>' l 

y ^ 


upied Denmart^ 

My survivmg reports on relatives, friends, and acquamtaaces/deported to Eastern 

European camps from Berlin did not show clear awareness of what iater would be calied genocide^ 
the Holocaust - shoa.f I still thought it reasonable to hope that sornehow they would survive 
Eastern conditions and return, Whatever fears I had had in Berlin since deportations had t)egun in 
1941 did not surface even in niy very private letters to Lotte, nöfin hers to me. The truth was too 
threatening^lt would l:)egin to emerge during the next few years, sorrow and anxiety would turn into 
sadness and nrKDurning over cur losieslpoc^^ rtself into Iower layers of consciousness below 
r^/, consciousness, so that I could cope with our survival. 

■^ In Ißuesserach. in 1943, euphoria and hope dominated my feelings and focused long pewi-up 
energies on one Single goat: to return to Wissenschaft , the patient assembling of the facts from the 
sources, the search for secure methods, and the heady experiences of interpreting these sources 
and piaang thenn into conlexts of meaning -rj/the silent midnights of the schotai*. But I found no 
"rroaning" everto the Holocaust, there were only "causes', "factors', "perceptions", "discourse". 

Here in Buesserach, I began to seek admission to a Swiss university to work for a 
doctoratß in modern European history. Leo Baeck had advised nie. l wrote \r\ cne letter in 1943, to 
obtain "a Swiss doctorate", l have no recollection of the orcumstances under which such advice 
may have been lendered except for our last meeting in ^s apartment in Berlin in January 1943. It 
took place about 10 weeks into my Underground existence, shortly before the Gestapo took him to 


S/ßf- P<ft''' 

/' // 

03/11/2001 16:55 



PAGE 1 4 



Theresienstadt. He had talked for 2 hours, but most of the details have slipped my mind I knew at 
the time that Lotte's relatives were making frantic efforts to help us to Switzerland. and I may have 
mentjoned that we had found a way to arcumvent German censorship, Since by its bylaws. 
graduation from the Hochsdiule was predicated on proficiency in original research at a university / 
i.e, the Dr. phil^j- Baeck's advice meant no break in his view of my professional career and the 
.Hochsch(jl^ context Studying European history would allow me to locate Jewish history in the 
European contexts that my best Hochschule teachers, Taeubler, Grumach, Elbogen, Baeck, had 
so bflHiantly articulated from a Jewish focus. I wanted to "bring order" into the disparate strains of 
my many curiositles, and understand the breakdown of civilization that had destroyed Jewish life in 

Germany, The euphoria of freedom had taken off into the dream of finding certaintes that would 


the Swiss military in a quarantine camp in a narrow isolated river valley of the Jura mountains 

falth of my youth, It was a heady moment, a flight of fantasy, while I was guarded by 

That I had chosen the university of Bern, long before I had been accepted for 
immatriculaöon and had found the money to pay for it, had been due to complex enfxjtional 
Impulses. Earlier on, l had to change trains in Bern on a trip and at a time i cannot place any 
longer, and had walked out of the then beautifully old-fashioned-looking Station, past the open 
luggage counter, onto the Bahnhofsplatz. The cool air, a mountain (the Gurten) JrHuemörnin 
haze, LKuuyii tlilH #!► a Short walk through a street on covered sidewaks to a large terrace 
overlooking the Aare valley^ back, to an 1 8'^' Century chapel bypassed by streetcar tracks and 
fronting an earty 20'^' Century grand hotelJWhen I regained my train, I knew that this would be my 
university town, It would offer enough peace for me to recover a semWance of the autonomy I 
wanted to bring into my life. At the time, I had not seen the maln university building on the hill 
behind the railroad Station^ and did not know that its facade looked quite similar in design and 

bullding materials to the NeueUniversita^t 'n Wuerzburg, which of course I had never 

c?,„ fite »'^f/^ 



83/11/2001 16:55 



PAGE 1 5 

Already a few days following my arrival at camp Buesserach, 


Z.^ ' 12 

I had asked to see 

the camp Commander. He promised to forward an applicatton for dismissal from the camp for 
ünivcrsity studies to his lerritorial ccMnmand" in Luzen:^ever received a reply. The "quarantine" 
was realty a period of politcal scrutiny He knew that I would first have to be transferred from 
mltitary to dvilian and police control, the Federal Police Department and the Central Administration 
Of Labor CtfTTßS. I would be granted leave if l submitted proof that the university accepted me, 
presumably as a full-time Student, and if I could show financial support at teast for the first 
seniester. By mid-1943, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Confimittee had provided funds 

' -% / 

/ , eannar1<ed for Jewish refugees for sonne time ^ an international Organization m aid of students. 
The Organization, the F6d6ration Europ^en de secours aux 6tudiants . had been founded decades 
eariier in Geneva to promote international exchanges and assist foreign students financiatly. For 
emergencies, the "Swiss Israelite Refugee Aid" could be appealed to. I approached both of these, 

outtining my recad of studies and applying for funds. 


I also wrote to the Dean ( Dekan ) of the "Faculty jl Philosophy One" in Bern and 

included a Short vIta, the records of my Hochschule und Oberschule studies and certificates of 

examinations. The Dean, Fritz Strich, proved incredulous. He had teil Germany (the University of 

Munich) in 1929 and had accepted a professorship in Bern, to escape the antisemetic prejudice 

^<^lvi a[\i^ /^f e^V ran^pant among "Germanismen" in Weimar Germany. That a Jewish Hochschule and a Jewish 

Oberschule in Berlin shodd have scheduied examinations or granted the Abitur as late as May 
1942 contradicted the ideas and images held by edxated European opinion about conditlons in 
Germany Stil, Professor Strich would have been especially sensitive to my precarious academic 


history although he probatty had few if any links with organized Jewish life Luckily, two key 
certificates of my Berlin examinations had been broughtto Switzerland before I arrived, a certificate 
about myWmediate examination atthe Hochschule of 1940, and the graduation (Abitur) certificate 
of the Jüdische Oberschule of 1942. 1 do not recall precisely any longer who had done me the 

1^3/11/2061 16:55 



PAGE 1 6 

egregious good turn to töke the two pieces of paper through 'enemy lines" to Switzerland A close 

friend, Ursula (Ulla) von Hrelmaone, had offcred in the Fall of 1942 to take a suitcase filled with 

some of my clothing to Switzerland, as pari of her luggage fbr a ski vacaöon She had left it 


Zürich, where the Schoenebergs had claimed it A physician friend of Ulla's in a Zürich hospital 
had stored it fbr us. The papers might also have been saved through the diplomatic mail. The 
Schoenebergs had remained in personal touch with their pre^1933 Chauffeur who now worked as a 
diplomatic Courier for the Berlin Foreign Office, but had remained strongly opposed to the Third 
Reich he served About this lime his son had deserted from the German army. He was found by 
the Gestapo and committed suicide. He had been in loose touch with the Munich resistance group 
"Weisse Rose" as had Ulla von Hieimcrone. and had stored leaflets of the group in his room. I had 
taken counsel with his father ("Janko") in Berlin already before my escape to Switzerland, when he 
volunteered to take messages to the Schoenebergs in Lausanne. A third possibility might have 
been the mail pouch of a delegate of the Swiss Red Gross in Berlin, whose help had been vital in 
cur contacts with Lausanne. Whoever did me this inestimabie favor^the two Sheets of paper 
became admission tickets to my future, 

I submjtted the certificates to Dean Strich, and Lotte and I visited him on separate 
occasions to teil him of Berlin Jewish life, and explain what seemed unbelievaWe Jt persuaded him 
^/ to recommend to the faculty that l be accepted as a regulär Student Eight weeks later, after I had 
already left camp Buesserach, he sent me a three-volume selection of the works of Gottfried Kelter, 
the 19'^ Century Swiss writer, some of whose Novellen (short stories) l had already owned in Berlin. 
This gesture, and the friendly words expressed m his dedication, meant a good deal to me in the'- 


I l J 

\ju \ -^o^^^ Y^c A 

tense and tonely moods I passed through in my camp, waiting for the university's decision 

On July 27, 1943, with the (interna!) refugee passport and a ticket provided by the 
Swiss authoritiesjl iraveied by train from Buesserach military camp to the labor camp of Sierre, a 
district town in the Rhone valtey. Even without my sense of anticipation, descending to Lake 



03/11/2601 20:05 



PAGE 01 




Geneva and fraveling along the Cornrche and through the Rhone valley via Sion to Sien^e - a road 

I would travel innumerable ümes later on - never 01^ lefl me emotionally uninvolved: Berri; 

Lausanne, the Lake, the Rhone väley, the Lötschborg railroad, have retained a special place in my 

feelings to this day. associated as they were with history, cutturet , human wamTth\our youth, cur 

marrlage, saved life: "our Europe' 

The camp was about 30 minutes walk away from Sien-e raiiroad station^over a few some vineyards to the stony tlatiands the Rhone river had curved out before the Swiss had 

regulated it. It was still day^ the sun about to set, but as you approached the river you feit chilly - 

my first experience with die Bise , the cold wind blowing down the Rhone from the colder nrK)untain 

Valleys and the gladers upriver. The steep mountains on the left bank were oovered with a grey- 

blue haze that seemed to soften their craggy surfaces and give tliem a special hue I had not seen 

before. I checked with the camp off»oe. was shown the mess hall - it was supper time and quite 


noisy - and my bed, an upper bunk in one of the barracks, a straw frlied mattress, a piltow, grey r 


arnny blankats. Sieep as always did come fast. Next day they issued me work clothes and shoes 
and assigned me to^sM (] 



The Schoenebergs and Lotte were spending their summer up the hill in Crans, a 
vacation center, as yet of middle-class character, situated on a natural plateau. At the time, it had 
Chalets, hotelS; tennis courts ^nd skat'ng rinks, and was still unspoiled by the touhst boom of post- 
I f( wdj( Europe. Its golf course allowed a magntffeent view of the Walliser Aloen . Nearby was 
Montana, soon to be phased out as a sanitanum vitlage for tuberculosls patients. Rest eures in 
high attitudes were becoming passe medical doctrine - they had stil! been central In Thomas 
Mann*s TWagic Mountain*. One could see a cog raiiroad moving up and down the mountainside in 
long intervals. I imagined that l could see the lights of the small vHlage of Crans, and the chalet 
where the Schoenebergs and Lotte vacationed, but later leamed that the lights I had seen had 
come from Montana, the only part visible from river levels. 

03/11/20^1 20:35 



PAGE 02 

There may have been 10 to 12 wooden barracks to the camp hofding probably 150 to 200 men. 

The barracks were set at irregulär angles, with hints of foot paths and flower bed$ at some spots. 
Being with others in a 'collective" has been part of my wp9mme ever since my youth movement 


days, I thought, and the sight of 'a camp" dtd not call up Ihreatening assodations After camp 
Bucsserach, a snrtall factory building set in a narrow valley that lett no vista free, Sierre labor camp 
seemed fiüed with the noises and sights of a larger world. The Aluswiss factory across the river 
produced aluminum. I was told, using the abundant water run-offs piped down from Xhe mountains. 
An international rail link ran along the valley connecting Paris-Geneva-Brig with the Simplon Tunnel 
and the Norlh-South train routeM few times a day, a yellow post Aytobus driving up a Serpentine 
mountain read to the South filled the air with its hörn to warn oncoming cars with a uniquely 
nielodious program: a -c- a - c - e. I was told it connected the river valley with the highest 
pemnanent setöement in the Swiss Alps, Chandolin in the pl d'Anniviers Reveüle and breakfast 
were early, and by 11 am the July sun bore down hard. 

My fellow internees were made up primarily of Jewish refugees fi'om France, Belgium, and Holtand, 
between 25 and 40 years of age, with a sprinkling of older people. Very few were of German- 
Jewish background, the majority probably first and second generatons to immigrants fi^om Eastern 
Europe, predominanÄy French-speaking with a sprinkling of Yiddish folk and family expressions^ 
quite articülate, without visiWe religious ortentations or practices. few Professionals or intellectuals 
among them. During the first week or two, a few fellow-internees in my ban-ack brought down a 
veritaWe ban^age of insutts on my head before I feil asieep, a crescendo on the attitudes I had 
already noted among feBow inmates in Buesserach. I knew by then how deeply wounded they 
were, and how helpless they had been made by the persecutions and deportations they had 
sirffered in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. After remonstrating with them for some evenings I 
stopped respondtng. t had understood that their anger would continue, and how much they needed 
to find a Gem^an, even if he was Jewishyas a lightening rod to relieve the pain As time wert on, 

03/11/20G1 20:35 



PAGE 03 




r- 16 

humanity would reassert itself as we got to know each other at work and play, and ye enipted 

together with joy when spectacular news. like thc capitulation of Badoglio's Italy in early |^^öi/Qth.,vJ/> 

September 1943. united us in noisy celebrations. I had now begun to read Swiss newspapers and 

opinion Journals, and we exchanged political views among our wo* group and ?i. meals. Groups 

found each other for an evening's expedition "to town* - Sierre, the half-hour w^ - to explore the 

edges of woi1<ing class ni^t life - there was no money for more !n the end, we came to respect 

our differences in behavior and attitudes? I talked and gossiped less, did not lose my temper over 

words or trivia quite so fast, we shared the edginess of men living without women in forced 

proximity. I kept ^considerable impatience and sorrowHöi to myself instead of making others 

miserable withteil we could notehange quickty - or ever. I had no talent for self-pity, resen/e^had 

become second natura in Germany. We even had somc thieves among us which made it 

inadvisaWe to^ve property, even of small value like work clothing or shoes, ünattended,^ 

(tferybody took precautons. some quite vocally What unted us more than other situations may 

have been the natura antagonism between the Swiss camp director - the Lagerleiter and his stafT 


)l^^community. At issue were insensitive, impatient or offensive behavior of Office personnelf 

which inclüded fellow internees! - assignment to work detatS| leisure time Privileges, smati 

< '. 1 



transgressions of camp discipline or punctuality. All of us wanted to feel that we were pushing as 
hard as possible to assert ourselves against our regimented time scheduies and our confined 
spaoe. Many ftlied out petitions, made requests, appealed to people they thought could help them 
Our lack of reallsm in estimating our chances of "getöng our produced unaüoyed cynicism among 
\ the camp stafT who had to prooess a flood of praects and papeiwork they considered of small 
ymerJt. After a white, t too feit that the^^taiBSiir'was a cheerlully insensitve. even crude, 
authorJtarian, probat)ly chosen for his expertence in supeniising coristruction crews abroad - he 
was "an A^^landsschweizer * returning home for the duration of the war. The Swiss, I would write 

Leo Baeck in London in 1945. did not always display great skül in choosing their camp directors 

03/11/2001 20:05 2152477699 


PAGE 04 

After a while, I would be asked to speak for others who believed that i 'couid deai better \vith the 

Office Star probably because I spoke German and inspired confidence. After two months, I asked 




I rang the bell at the tower and couniry house that was Muzot, nobody answered. It seemed 
uninhabjted, and I dimbed over the low wall surroundjng a smail garden and found the balcony on 
which he had posed for the täte photograph of his I liked most. 

In the camp, the worK done b/ internees reflected the government decision to 
assign ^'tolerated' Äoiigr^s and "intemed*' refugees to work In agriculture or civil englneerfng 


to be detach«d to woi^ detail in Montana, up the hlil and away from the camp, but the Lanoerleiter 
attached me to^ Office staff instead. Three weeks later, the camp elected me diredor of leisüre 
time activjties in a contest between one of ''theirs" and myself. 

One pleasure camp Sien^e mM was uniquely my own. Rainer Maria Rilke had 
completed my favorite two long poenr^, the Duineser Eleoien and the Sonnette an Orpheus in ^^ ^ 
chateau (castle) Muzot m Sierra. I began to talk with innkeepers and waitresses about Rilke. Tes, 
the crazy poet, who did not teave our women alone*, they remembered him - he had died in Sienre 
1 7 years earlier in 1926, and had lived at the north-eastem edge of town. TM chateau belonged to 
the Winterthur industnalist Reinhardt, a bare country house of local field-stone, and seemed a 
N fittjngly lean and eieganHy direct expression of what I had admired in thwe woits, Rilkes grave lay 

[ ^ ^ fürther upstream in the Raron churchyard. I had known ik inscnption by heart. A week or two later. 

projects. The country depended on food Imports and the permission of the two 


^ 1 ^ for suppies from overseas to be shipped In neutral bottoms to European ports and forwardedjby 

Qqs^ land routes vhich from 1 940 on, were under Nazi control. A föderal plan, the "Wahlen-Plan" was to 

coordinate manpower and resounces to maximize domestic production of foodstuff, and release 
Swiss manpower for more skIBed woric and the milrtary. My first assignment was with a crew 



Clearing stumps of wiltows and other trees from a sandy Stretch near the river. Afler being confin 
to Buesserach for six weeks without Sports or other serious physical activity. I welcomed this task 

03/11/2001 20:95 2152477699 


PAGE 05 



I _ 

* ( 


(oncc I "understoocT willow stumps) in the beautiful Alpine environment, ttie cool breeze under a 

blaring sun, and found it much to niy liking. Such work cnews (ten to fifteen men) allowed personal 

friendships to fonri, a kind of buddy System beyond the work situaton I became friends wtth a 

young German-Jewish refugee, Heinz (?) Tuteur, who had learned gardening somewhere on his 

way|to Palestine. After a few weeks of Clearing stumps, I was assigned to a team bringing down 

tree trunks and stripped-down branches fbr firewood from about 1 50 yards up on the face of a fairly 

steep mountain. It was to be cut and sawed to handy sizes and nudged down a rocky gülch to a 

road in the Valley, where it would be picked up by a trucK or a horse-drawn cart. We climbed up 

early in the morning in the chilly crystal-clear air. reached a Clearing where the tree trunks had to 

be sawed and branches swt off, and when enough wood had been assembtelTwe carried it to the 

edge of the ravine and nudged it down to the road. II was a somewhat risky affair run by a Swiss 
woodsman whose speed and agllity few of us could match: he was always minütes faster, up or 
down, I feit quite free and happy In this breathtaking mountain-scape away from barrack life. 

I m^^ le^ned if Clearing the Stretch of alluvial sand by the river in sight of the 
CNppis aluminum factory was more than make-wo(k, or how many nwuths it fed. if any. Our piles 
of wood were picked up from the road by an innkeeper in Sierre who associated with our 
LartoerteitBr . At the end, he invited me for a hefty dinner in his inn 1o show his gratitude", 1 
presumed the deal had been legitimate contract work» but heard that the Ladiqerleiter had been 
removed from Sierre later on, fbr reasons unknown, It did not matte^hysical labor became 
another step to "work the sense of not being in control* out of my System and deal with the energy 
unexpended in years of sedentary watchfulness. 

• r ' ■ r 

f ^ ^ 

I would not have remembered my impatience and anger at bemg caged as the 
months dragged on, if the letters Lotte and I exchanged almost every day had not survived. For 
one» I did not take altogether kindly to being confined to a camp with strangers who could not fall to 


1 Ay'JY^\ k>(^!^ 

)) V\ 

Vi >VH 



annoy in such close proximity. Clearty, cottectivism was iosing its ideological overlay. What l 

03/11/20Ö1 20:05 



PAGE 06 

previously was able to disregard or find quaint, kept rankling below the sorface, As never before, 

the good attitude I Ihought I owed to mysetf wore thin. There were moments of anger as weit as 

despondency . We were completely cut off from relatives and friends except for nny mother to whom 

I was able to write and whom I knew safe. The meniory of my wonderful Berlin friends and our 

warm relationships was still searingly alive in me - did I imagtne a reaüty in my isotatlon that would 

n&ver be there again? It was tempting to see the Genrians' as "the enemy* they had been for the 

French and for persecuted Jews everywhere, and raise questions of guitt and responsibiiity in 

GOÜedive temis - instead of separating our Genr^an friends from our German enemies as I had 

l)een accustonr^ed to. The higWy emotionalized world view of the Eastern-Jewish conomunity of 

surs/jvors t'^of toj i Hil?^ thelr slmptisfic/gpaivi^^^collective guilt concepts would 

p Y^ 

remain a constant challenge tor my personal and professional integrity^ In bleak moments, 
bitterness and resentment seeped into the stance that had protected me all those years in the 
Third Reich, my Ironie contempt for the bombast and the intellectual irrelevancy of those brown^ 
/\ IWeMowbrows. But emotional outbursts would be rare; camp tife offered many ouflets for 
friendship and good manners. Love letters continued to flow without a hitoh between Lotte and me, 
the future bai promise, I would marry and cared naught about tseing a destitute Student in a 
(»untry I would leave as soon as thmgs "again became normal' l received the first letters from 
Israel, the USA, and England even if the mäls and the censors made contacts slow and 
discontinuous. Besides Lotte, and the fate of relatrves and friends 'n-^ft ijffin f ^HI WWif i, my 
most intensive concern«» tfiäfaÜo^tÜcies would be removed and I would enter Bern University 
something I had not dared to consider possible in my wildest dreams _all those years in Berlin, 
any university in any decent country. Some of my inner tensions at ieast I was able to woflc off in 
the fields and on the mountainside, I also remember hiking up and down the mountain to Crans- 
sur-Sierre as long as Lotte had been vacationing there with her uncte and aunt. 1 sometimes spent 
intensive weekends in their Company, I began to help my fellow-inmates with German-Ianguage 


03/11/2061 20:35 



PAGE 07 








I, ■■•- 



petitions and «1 Vqistjonnaires fbr them And I sat up many mghts helping a refugee banker 
working as the camp accountant to balance his books^and learned a tot about apac( 



obsessive need for precision down to the last Centimes. I would ironically otfer to give him the small 
amounts he could not trace if I could only go to sieep, tf^e hour usually being long past midnight 

n u 

And I gave Hebrew cJasses and tot drawn into the efforts made by the Young Men's Christan 

Association - YMCA - this time fieadquartered in Geneva - to save inmates from the idiocy of rural 
'\0 tß' 

the "Communist Manifesto'. and "assist internees in their attempts to tili empty 

life. to 

hours with constructive leisure time activiöes' as the YMCA directive stated. We even managed to 
putonpiöic p«ano-and-violin recitals in a small hall in Sierre on Saturday nights. 

Thus, as tme wenl on, the grey mass of fellow internees t faced in the beginrtng 


divided into individuals and small groups^as work and leisure structured our relations. They had 
soon fett sorry fbr their untbinking enfwtlonal outbursts, and ceased beratlng me for Nazi 
antisemitism. My ovim imüm p erceptons and feelings were shifting too. Now imad time to ease 
away from montfis of day-to-day care fbr food, a bed. survival. I had had no "tjnie' to ask Vhy" as 
tong as the Vhaf and 'how" of survival had obsessed me For years, the andern world and 
abstract issues °the texts) had shaped what I had discovered for myself andj^herished in the 
writings of Johan Hulzinga and Jacob Burckhardt,OTega y Gasset. Karl Jaspers and Karl Loewith, 
my personal 'resistarwe literature" in wa--tinr« Berlin. They had 4l> philosophized about 
^lyendandische Kulturoeschtehte and feared a Europe cut loose from its Christian (and thus from 
its Jewish) moorings. Now I wanted lo fbcus on the 'real world" that had created and destroyed the 
European perkxJ of Jewish cullure I identfied with^l wanted to find the "ultimate causes" - at that 
stage in my life l stU believed they could be determined - of what went wrong, when, and why($ 
Äowly a plan of study feil into place. The riddles of retigion I had inherited from my early upbringing 
ceased to vex me, but 1 had grown very fond of the t^BOicsrt-texts 1 had been exposed to since my 
early youth, and wished to continue In Jewish and dassicai studies. ! connected no personal aim or 


03/11/2001 20:05 



PAGE 08 




career plan with these first strivings for a new orientation. I just needed to rescue some continuity, 
notto Cüt my moorings. I wanted to stay involved in Community worK, the Jewish Community, and l 
was ready to respond to the camp and its challenges of voluntarism and mutuallty Nothing in my 
edücaöon had added up to a coherent explanation of the catastrophe ! Iiad been through, I wouid 

not find it by returning to the texts I had once found so stimulating. The context had chan 


theology and abstract thought had lost their appeal. Tfue, I had to build on my training in cultural 
and intellectual questions, but t sought to ground myself in "feality', the concreto data of politics 
and power, diplomacy and war, revolution and catastrophes. There had to be tuth" dictated by 


the facts", not vice versa, The answer I needed had to relate to the 'larger contexts". die grosseren 



Zusammenha<nqe . the 'real world*. It would show the pemicious role of nationalist hubns that had 
touched our lives and that I still feit so clearly set apart from the Zionism advanced by cur great 
humanists, from Achad Haan» to Robert Weltsch, 

My recollections of this quest fbr "reality* in "history" are supported by the 
correspondence Lotte and I carried on, and by her letters and memories of the animated talks we 
had on long walks up in Crans-Montana, along the beauffully gardened shore of Lake Geneva in 
Ouchy, or along the vineyards of the Corniche . We had our first walks through the small center of 
the City of Lausanne and our first climb up the wooden stairs to the Cathedral - its Cluny 
Romanesque inner Space offering serene propolions for moments of rest and meditation. On cool 
and sunny days, after the humidity of July and August had given way to the lovely Fall weather of 
1943, lake, town, vineyards, cathedral, the ancient roads, symbolized a still essentially IS'" Century 
World of sobriely and beauty, an Image of what had been destroyed in Gennany, our own lost 
World, a new beginning. Precisely because we never thought of settling down permanentty in 
Switzerland. our sense of well-being,as we talked about our future, flowed from our v.* - - -^ *' ' ""' -^^ , 
wIth a hamiony that demanded no possessive reactions. 

03/11/2001 20:05 215'^477699 


PAGE 69 



Months alter I had fied Germany a physicai revulsion about the abyss I had left 

behind began to seep into my thoughts in Sierre, I feit free, allhough I was "interned*, I could act 
out my own intellectual impuises and bneathe the first whiff of independence, however 

^V^Ci ujj^kÄM^^^^^^^^^^^^y psychological realityj^tacked up against camp regimentation. It was an unintended 

I (fa^^ik c scui^ process. The camp aeated Community and involvement I began to share in political discussions 

't \vS^ v/y' / ^"^ became aware of the clash of political partes, interests, and ideotogies, etementary as this 

may sound, f also had my first encounter with political 6migr*s from Nazi Germany who had been 
hardened by the political batttes of the exile Community I leamed for the first time how intensely 
politica) exiles hoped that their OW prescriptions for the future of Germany would prevail; that they 
lived by their utopias. in contrast among fellow-Jewish inmates, I found littie Jewish-politicai 
commitnient except among the few Zionists, mostly young German-Jewish 6migr6s who had been 
preparing themselves for collective settlement in Palestine. Most WestEuropean refugees wanted 
nothing more than to return to their homes and take up their lives where they had been interrupted, 
the emotional strength of Eastern Jewish folk traditions reflected in the lives of craftsmen and 
commerdal employees striving for financial success. and the good life of the family Almost 
, ! everybody in this group - the majority - saw themselves as vbtims of Swiss intemient policies» and 
did everything to gain release firom the camp and to locale relatives or frlends in eitles who would 
take them in as "private internees%To every burstof good news - 1 too became an avid newspaper 
reader and got my first whiff of liberal commentary fi'om the weekly Die Weltwoche - we responded 
with renewed activity, fflling applic^ons and submitting petitions for release. Everybody was in his 
own way on some level 

^ \ ^' 








impatient. irritable, or unhappy, measuring their present condition by their 
projects for the future^ »«.t '•1 ^^ M^ffiW^ W*ot5s w^**/*/ l-I^ U-Jt/»*«^«^ 

My own plans for obtalning release did not depend on the goodwill of the "^ 
camp Bureau : I corresponded dij:€r^Üvwith the university adminlstration and a 
scholarship tund. and was able to rely on direct contacts with the universit/s 
admissions officer. Lotte helped greatly by travelling to Bern and opening 
closed minds with her charm and sincerlty. Everything went quite smoothly. I 
expected to leave the camp soon. Still, when it took months to obtaln what was 
certainly a routlne decision In the e/id/ I got as nervous as an American high 
school gr«4tf«fe applying to I larvar d f o r O^u m büt . It^ught me to remaln 

attentive to the disappointments my camp colleagues suffered as their 
applications were returned, retused. 

The most unusual triend I made. during this increasingly tense perlod of 
my internment. was a fellow internee in Sierre. Arthur Emsheimer who shared 
many of my attitudes and values: he had grown up In the Baden variety of 
rooted South-German-Jewish culture. If the Nazis had not dismissed him from 
his Position as a State attorney general ( Staatsanwalt) in Loerrach(near Basel, 
across the frontiej)in 1935 - he had volunteered for German war servIce when 
he turned 18 years of age - he would have been one of the many good Jewish 
Germans a Century of emancipation had reflned Into most educated, 
cosmopolitan minds and gentle characters. not quite in keeping with the Image 
of his profession. He had been marooned In Swltzerland without funds after the 
November pogrom^whlle he studied languages (English?). and international 
law/in Geneva to prepare for his emlgratlon. Forbidden to earn money in 
Swltzerland and cut oft from his home base by the war. he had been Interned in 


labor camps for some years when I encountered hIm in Sierre. 

Arthur had mastered the change-over well, In fact it may have taught him 
that teaching and social work rather than a law career were his true vocation. I 
got to know hIm through my involvement in writing German-Ianguage letters for 
my fellow internees and through my running Interference forthem in the camp 
Oftice. WIth time, I got drawn into the leisure activities he oreäfH^^d in the camp. 
When he lett in October 1943, I was elected to succeed him for the remaining 
six weeks. of my stay. 

in a way. Arthur Emsheimer embodied one side of the German-Jewish 
fusion, steeped as he was in German literature and thought^and in Baden 
iiberalism. At age 43, he Struck me as astonishingly unembittered by what had 
happened to him and his family since 1933. his non-aggressiveness genuine, 
not acquired, almost a delayed youth movement identification with the classical 
tradition. He of all people should have seen through the social and 
manipulative uses that had been made of this tradition by the same political 
class in Germany that had faiied to block Hitler's advance to power. He Struck 
you as a true liberal believer, unfazed by the experiences of our lives. 

The other side was that he used his beliefs as a defense against the very 
conclusions I now began to draw from my own experiences. The luxury of his 
Bildung fenced him off from the "reaiity" I was seeking to reach. And he had little 
contact with the Jewish Community and knew little of the Judaism that had been 
shaping my reactions to Nazi antisemitism. Still, we worked well together. I 
respected his clean fairness, his equanimity. and his making the best of a poor 
condition. It feit good hearing the South German accents of his speech. As we 
differed from the beginning on fundamentals and had quite different emotional 
make-ups, each saw the other as an anachronism to be tolerated and explained 
by the differences in our personal history. He remained in my memory as the 






possibly purest incarnation of the ineffective good German believer in 

and virtue vvhile the world around us was drowning in crueity and crime. 

Emsheimer stayed on in Switzerland alter the war. his family ties severed 

beyond repair, and pursued his mission of helping refugees, old and new, to 

build new lives. or to obtain reparations payments for them from Germany. We 

Loht. iK<^ii \ 
saw each other quite frequently as long as<i^iwere in Switzerland. He had 

been most comforting and helpfui when Lotte clashed with a snooty Geneva 
patrician for whose family she was playing sieep-in housemaid. Emsheimer and 

1 carriedonourfriendshipeven beyond röy-st^4ri-Swite4riafid.t' '-''■ '- "^ 

i d^ ^^^ P^^ *o the fest when he and 1 were active in the eiection campaign for a 0^^ ^^ai^ 
inf ^wj Convention of refugees and emigres calied to assist the Bern governmenfs ^^^^ ^ '-'"^ ^ 

iM jh,'fK' 




e nsnQcüG . drive to have us re-migrate after the war. We found owselves on 
opposite ends of the political spectrum. Emsheimer. the German-Jewish 
"integral liberal", sided with the re-migration of Jews to Germany. by Implication 
supporting the anti-Zionist and anti-Israel stance of the German emigre Left. 

yvn ^^(i. 

They used him. ä«diTrfost"or 


to legitimize a policy thej^ wöüfd crtMeTyTnsert iritojR^efhational affairs after ^ ^^m^A ^ 

1948. When the Soviet Union had redefined it^Ttiage ote-''anTPcoloniar, i.e. 

anti-British Jewish State and the Comintern directed its East- European sateilites 

to follow suit. Communist and radical-left emigres returninglfrom major centers )% /^f'r^v1«v^ 

of exile. With notable exceptions (Paul Mercker!) would fall in line to avoid 

Slansky-style trials. I considered Emsheimer's political attitudes sadly 

representative TN: the ioss of the reality principle afflicting the liberal left of good 

will. That we could never openly joke or laugh about our differences afterwards 

even when we met again in New York or on «sr-t^ to Switzerland after the 

war. may have been more indicative of our,stubborn loyalties to experiences 

that had shaped us. than of our wisdom. 


Emsheimer died in Switzerland at age 80 in 1980. his genius for 
friendship enduring to the end. 






i^'V: -'^V 








*M f 

1943 Sierre- Bern. 




'y>y >f 

\i\^ i^" • /, 



'> : i 



Leaving the camp 

U\k \)\^ Ij ^ (?/v^u^At7lA' 

vU'^n *'^'*'^ ^si ^Liti^ 

Camp as challenge of attitudes: rsocia npenness, Service oriented^ mood 
of optimism and copm,munrEy; pdlitesr ^uiet steady project^ions in dealing 
with people. Faimess about conflict bn^ authority and inmates of camp. 
Camp Problems: frictions as descr$bec with administrtä^om 

Frustrat]^ions feit in forced -»-estraints of intemment in 
^ camp, camp restraints in mobility,tim^, movement, 

no aainful acitivity, ^ ^* H ''^ ^ y^tt^ Xe \\a i(^i^^ c\ U/v-^ l 

Jewish religious estab^ishment took little note AND 




• ^Oi 

Camp leisure culifure stiinualted by YMCA/' ^ ^ 

SENSE OF LOW KEY and tristesse among inmates, 

no spontaneous music. art, or literature. 

Basic ethnic as described, goals of earliest possiblj^e retumm to ho^r^mes 

MY own behavior in group: unpretetentious , not shirking disagreeble tasks 

by burdening others with t hem^, helpful if askedimain ly to w^r/ite GerTnan= 

language letters to aujhorities toiJ^e^Ül^^^t^, deal with camp staff öf iranates 


mostly men of emigrant Status ie. earlier refttgees from th ^pre-1/ 941/2 

period preholocaUST PEPIODft^German Jewish Image twosided : arr%%t and 

distJJf<f:^T RELIABLE AND üfdeirly ^ble to deal with authority. 

All had agendas to transfer out of camp. Technical help in letter-wriiting 

and common-sense advice. 


Seeing ^camp as challenges to physical endurance, keeping a stiff upper 
pfippMy time table set by working from early on for admission to a univl^rsity 


and continuing my studies. Buesserach^failed since nilitary had y^ Y)d 

authori^ty to transfer inter];z>nees out of t heir System i> '^ 


Steps 'admission to univers{))ity and f inancing^ f ir^t termypracticaj. issues. 

Study programs foijforeign students and refugees students had been foreseen 

in l\J^egislation on refugees and asyAl^nts since the early 1930s, Conilitions: 
I ^v ^ - 

(XcW^^c qualif ication mATTIRA^/ FIILFILLING EMTRANBCE PEOöIREMENRts oi^ a univrsity, 
acceptance by Fakulta et, financial ability to pay fees. Comimitment tt? 
to leave country upon completion of studies orloss of fTfiS??^öi ability 


to pay fees/f al^so : Living epenses)?? . 

Study of about 600 refugee sudents won acceptance to a universioty or 

Fachhochschule - higher -level trade scool). 




Released on "leaVE" from camp but placed under Fremdenpolizei and 

local pantonal police contr olT^ List of obligations and restsrictions to 

be signed included restr^icted mobility, placement of all financial aseet's 

. ^^ /ü I 

iH/account controlled by fRemdenpolizei, weekly repDrting to locail cantonal po 1 

prebincet, curfew hours, police permission tio trAVEL OUTSIDE place of 
resisdeoe for ovemight stay ; Coinmitinent to leave ountry \^en conditions 
of permit ceased . . 

For several grap.of st udents ( socialist, Christian, Jewish, ) parochial 
agencies provided fu^nds; non-affiliated students were able to apply for fi 
funds to international Student aid soci(|)eties that had been set up to meet 
earlier Ipoltiical emergencies ,or/deal with students stranded without funds 
-jVhen international conditions irtterfered with traNSFERS TO Switzerland, or 
^c>'^ Students were stranded for family or personal reasons without funds. 
7^'^l'rhe umbrealla or/ganization was lo/cated in Geneva, FESE. 
Thus from the very beginning of my camt»inteminent 

When I arrived i n Bn^es«era|bch at t he end of ©5^1943, I feit sure that 
the Steps I had initiated with Lotte ' s helfjskould garantee that my 
conf inrment to the l|:abor camp would be limited and should end before 
the year was out. 

Still, my letters to LOtte - I wrote practfically orfe daily basis once 
Lotte sen^^ the ne€»&&sa^ stamps - read tense and do^ubt-ri|^den : the eu^phorl 
ric mood had given way to considerable impatience with vAat I called // 
mcreasmgly "bureaucratic sloth" - how could they not act instantly 
(» an application so well supported ? With all the documents of my 
Berlin highschool and Hochschule records before them ? I ?^l?^o^xha§^"Deen 
wrung from a hostile an^ adverse fendition, v\^ose enforced misery th^'2^ 
had bested^ triumphantly ^ wäaem ßdbä samaritans had smuggled I thriugli'^lBn'^] 

lines at risks ,too obvious not to^ deserve in^TflSIT ACTOgN ?? 

This was one factor in my vaunted positive and cheerfully pretended opti- 



mistic aTTITUDES that Struck so manv of my comrades and found expressions in 
theiR letters: To this day, I hAp NO GIFT FOR FEELINGH SORRY FOR -> • 


to the opoint whereuff iculties that were objective and bothered me 
woulgji^be allowqed to surface and influence my relationship to peo/ple. 
I consider thisd a constant charactej^stic in my pscycho logical make-up: 
ever since I can remember, , had been no complaiiiiner about t he many annoyinq 
experpiences I experxenced w^enl was chalafhged to t he limit of my caHacity 
by physical strains in sports and hikes,long hours of work, people who 

( ^ 




talked uninfonned or unthinking/, j or kept unloading t h eir comlaints 
upon the rest of the world. 

Growing up i n Nazi Gerimany anchored t his attituide strjfonglyjin ^ 
itiy reactions: since 1933, I hads li#>ved in an environment of verbal abuse, 
propa|ganda lies, def amations , hatred. It was veryil useful to nof'let this 
hostility bother you". In Berlin and with the iirmersion ^ Jeqwish 
affairs as an active particjfipant rjjather t han a religious observaj^t Jews, 
what may be called a multiple System of feeling and perceptions coexisted 
probably more str^ong/y under the circumstnces of persecuton AND 
DEFAMATl/rON TFtAN than wouldjbe tfie case in n/ormal circumstaNCES WHEIJyEVEl^ 
BODY orde^rs experi<^ences in scales of sig?:nificance and closeness to/the 
core self^ image, I thus came with signidfticant reserves d? distance and 
defences to Switzerland. It let me slide throj'ugh thihijmiliations of being 
placed into pri^^son aND CAMP> living in forced closeness to other people 
sutmitting to öegimented schedules of activities from getting up in the 
moming to clitiibing into your bunk bed at night. I remember however tat I 
did not take it lieing down or silen^ly.My letters bristle with impj^atience, 
I remember a scene dl'uring the collecyive shavitig- < ^ 


f rituaai ,in 
iirilrEäary- s ty le 

the moming - a lead pipe oiver a tin c&üeS 

the men barefoot on wooden plani^s - v,^en I relieved myself of a' barrage' öf~abuse 


U cM 'f 

conöitions. - Emsheimer heard it at the time, it was the beginning o|f 

I believe there was continuity ±j)n my rea*ctio(|ns to aggression and 

deprivatc|j|^ in my make-u p. It had becone second nature to let it slide 

off '^ in silence, n|ot to dignify t he other with a counterattack or a 

reply t hat would place you on the saME |LEVEL AS FIS HIS^RESSION. 

I had leamed to make do with conditi ons of almost any kind ever since 

we had taken ovem(J>ght hikes in Wuer^zburg^or ever sin|^ce I üxsxfcks 

KEJÜHKfckxxsxxiSxhade prepARED MYSELF FOR WHAT I thought was the ideal life 

of comjinunity and poverty in the kibbuz I would jojpin in Palestine. Given my 

background I would of course identify lack of privacy and physczWral c^lective 

closeness with AGGRESSION SFKä ,deprivation of privacy and liberty, . Ido not 

know at vv^at point my natural sympathty for people and sociaBILITY> the 

Gemeinschaft I helped create for so mfcr in so ml'ny sit uationsXlost its /v 
.^, , ä T\\ ^. i > (j w , , , I ' ^ 

ic»e^ Vi^li^ MiUU^ ^^paaarity^ the one we haD FANCIED P«i^=fT I^N THE YOUTHM^VEMENT 


(- aUTHENriCAIl.Y WWAS THE WORD < THe process started probably with my involve,ent 






I- <.i 

ßhUMy ( 'r'^'^t'i • ^L. 


.; > 


\/ I h\ r 






iv >V^ 

C \-'^ / 




h' f f/ 

The Context: 

Swiss policies on asylum 





Cia^i d^^c/^ 


History has not been kind to the men - no women - who del^mftB<i< and ^cfictded- 
Swiss policies towards victims of Nazism and (Italian) Fascism from 1933^te 1945. When the Third 
Reich unleashed its S. A. - thugs flr a fling at the promised revolution during the first six months of 
terror agalnst-g^B^i^ institutions and civil society, Weimar political and cultural leaders panicked: 
they did not take-rtev o lutior r ary sta r rd but TIed intö exile across öermany's frontiers. They had 




been unprepared for the violence that threatened their lives. German Jews, intrinsically a middle- 
class non-activist group of centrists, r^mjm^^ anticipating violence, -»* initiated a mass 

emigration. Wnat would become the most effective strategy to insure survival, leaving Gennany 


(and Austria) and seeking new roots abroad. 


The flight of the political and cultural opponents of Nazism and the Third Reich 
I slowed to a trickle within a year ewii^. It gained strength again when German armies invaded 


\ Austria in March 1938, and the Munich Pect decreed the ^imäii^ take-over of Western 

/|/^ K M U-, *•'! I r/4- 

I Czechoslovakia ("Sudentenland") by the Third Reich in September. EaclitÖccasioned new waves 
of humanity seel<ing shelter abroad. The exodus of the scholars displaced from university posftions 

1,—- / /,,,. ■■f'cel_ ' 

höoinnino in 1 93."^ c- 'tinued in a fairiy steady streaj j^hat was regljiated, in part, by the difficulties 

of finding placement abroad in a period of higfi acu-lemic unemployment, especially am&Äg the 

> young. 





^ , -^- . ^, the^tma^ßö^ 

jxcjusion from public life and the economy, and bv 



'j I 



J countries in Europe and overseas. Since World War One, in part since before World War One, all 
governments in Europe and overseas had restricted the free flow of ffiigrants across their frontiers, 

From 1929 on 

the economic depression had poiarized interest and political groups 








everywhere. The admission of migrants was determined by political and economic pressures even 
in countries where granting asylum to refugees and toleration to dissenters had been anchored in 

' » 

political .culture and constitutional preferences. 

/ / 

Traditionally, Switzerland had been seen by world opinion as one of the European 

DdhticaLsdf- )t . ' 


protagonists of tolerance, as a haven for refugees persecuted in their homelands. Its peHäcalsfil 

fpitalitMne Swiss canton had harbored towaf^th 

ifla^ösMJ humanitarianis ^ .- 

warring faäions of Europ ^ar i on rcfugGco f i oii i n ii ü I G "' Cü l lLUiy Pny l a i i d , I d l u 17'^ u u nl u i y r^ 

I lu g uo H Ota, 10" uu i ilu i y riuilUi J il uluualJiki teillri the 19'^ Century, the country had given asylum 
to anarchists, liberal and radical revolutionaries,\German socialderhöcrats and Russian EöTsnevis!s"~^i;ei(_/- 
üyluie [h<i Hrst WoripvvaK.The record shows that neither during the AncientfRegime nor in the 
period of the liberal-democratic federal state^migrants had received with undiluted joy, Swiss 
parochial local cultures and sub-cultures were rooted in geographic cleseftess. Malthusian 

pressures were feit by growing populations living on limited natural resources finrinr m nypinitntiiiT 



^^ ^ ^ 


oysten^of laiid uj/viij^liip and mountainous ten'ain. Conditions had 
^ and inrjed political habits. "Biiflourism eruptinq"rfinto the'tWind 

and 20th centuries did not necessarily change social behavior. imig^ötierr-aimed at §atfliM 

Marriages with 


Aeconomic advancement away fi-om Aitightly controlled patriarchal social order. 

^ > fkfy 

foreign partners reflect^B^ösdCfiqiffiDt.«R4- rrarrow limitations experienced by the popf and the 

young seeking to make their own marks. As the country turned into a major pfayerf 

metallurgical Industries and became a finarclal and Insurance eenter in Europe, the 

between the traditional ^ot f imd orGtond in g o^ nostalgic ruralism and the life-styles of the newer 

middle and working classes, and managerial elites. Switzerland's Constitution and its political 

culture, as they had emerged in fee 19'^ Century modernizations, were seen as balanced between 




purposefully quaint local customs, parliamentary institutions, bureaucratic power centers and a 





military establishment wittv elites functJonHai in the interstices between economy, politics. anc? 

That this (open) elite discovered shortly before the First World War that their 

successes had attracted large numbersbPforeign nationals from Germany, Italy and France might 

have been an occasion for pride and a challenge to initiate innovative forms of a multinational ^ 

culture .fi museums, in music and art, in theater and literature. ftwss universt^^refiteaii^önr" 

the dynamism of their large^neightrars, with outstanding, often world-class results. But, as 

nationalist moods sweptJurope,the Svi/iss,too,began to fear for their "identity". Cities like Basel, 

Geneva ortocarno(r epr e 8 ent inf /three of the fo"-- official languages) harbored large ^pgffigolägös 

of foreign nationals among their residentsfji^ had come fefe Germany (39.8%) and Italy (36.7%) 

and had setöed in sw^v . *. «er yrBäsei (37.6% foreigh nationals), Geneva (40%), or Lugano 

(50.5%) as revealed by the census of 1910. This census became a political and administrative 

base line during and after World War One. The rise of Swiss nationalism in the later half of the 1 9* 

Century changed previously open and liberal perceptions. Power over population policies began to 

shift from the cantons and cities to the central government with the foundation of a federal Alien 

Police (FremdenfioHzei), whom the First World War allowed to operate under emergency 
.._....^_ „i /// , 



practice, federal authorities wielded a larger share of power over Swiss policies towards'alierisk;fri 

^ l avv(^ spite of this long-range trend, cantons and localities retained significant rights over resi 

' sy had lost in part to the federal government. ßyH#2Ö, 


IX' . . .. 



admission of aliens fer legal residence and of persons seekIng asylum from political persecution 

had teeaght the ratio of foreigners in Switzerland from 14.7% (1910) to 10.5% in 1920, t6 8.7% in 

1933. The country did not yet offer the affluent face it does today: there were pockets of rural and 

J urban poverty^and large families. The tourist industry had not yet reached into remote mountain 

Valleys. A significant number of Swiss had cha i nn to emigrate and escape the limited prospects ö fpf^{ii,M, ^ 




economic a^^meement at home. The government/ protect^' its 6migres 
j through international { ?? — «]: Also, a not inconsiderable number of marriages were '^'^ (^ ^^ /-/m 

concluded with foreign partners. The national self-image projected iwgroup experiences of thrift, Yijf()jl 


), roots in soll (Heiimat ) and language, hard work. local pride, and numerous differentiations in 

custom/dialects, religion and social environment. Nan-ow group loyalties promoted vanities of 
small differences between small even minlTscule pplitical entities,/Bie cantons jealously guarded 


nurtured ir^t^c'^i folkloristic n qtf i valc a nd numerous Hermatvepeine. 


The social realities behind this image of the hard working sturdy farmer and cowherd thinned out 
with industrialization and geographic mobility, but like in France JHemained the psychological 
rationale that came to dominate Swiss national policies towards the admission of foreigners. Before 
1914, fear of being overrun by foreigners - " Ueberfremduna " - seemed to be phrased in political 
terms - too many Germans, Italiens, French in Swiss eitles. The government in Bern believed the 
imbalanceipould still be corrected by naturalizing foreign residents even enforcing nationalization 
by legislative fiat. (190, p. 574) ( The torm "oinkLauf o n" cug g cots Aal and cantonal financial 
interests "^ naturalizing resident aliens.) Generally, treaties regulatiö^ reciprocity \ K migron t 
settlaw^abroad, and the interests of the hotel and tourist Industries in attracting foreign money 


tx 0^ »'^ 





had worked against excessive restrictions. Still already in the 1920s and early 1930s,a clear tinge 

Jo ^IaA e^ i\ In tjf 

of xenophobia had creptinto legal and politicgl.documents. 

"1 k_ Admission ifeäTbäsed on Spiritual (geistig, i.e. -^ , '''^': "• '>' %i^ ^^^^ q. irj 
economic interests (1931 Federäl Law, Ludwig p, 25 ff.) "as well as the degree of 
" Ueberfremduna ". The term continued to be applie^ through the 1 930s and 1 940s to the admission ^ 
of refugees considered "allen to the essence of Switzerland" - " wesensfremde Elemene ". ^to^ u <cL ^/^ 
were considered poor prospects for assimilation and Integration into Swiss society and culture. It^ '^ ' ' I W 

!d u p f i r st - i B^Zurich äüjr legislation wtMeb« decreed severe limitations of the number of 
naturalizations for Jews from Eastern Europe (■<;ir) in m^. (^9n.■^■^|^w ^r1mrThTiHlfl tp ^^ served to 

V ' u 


. Thus 

express fear oftcompetition among Swiss businessmen and Professionals 
already before the First World War it had become a code for government Stereotyping of Jewish 
immigrants - "Ostjuden", i.e. migrants or refugees from Czarist Russia er from the Eastern 
provinces of Austria Hungary. The negative stereotype appears to have coalesced first in 
Switzerland in the 1880s with the arrival of Russian Jews fleeing the pogroms of 1881 . 

No precise\information seems to have been collected on the distribution over time 
(Jr stereotypes and of restrictive attitudes among the population. There are many indications thatthe 
humanitarian ethos symbolized by Swiss national and international institutions, from theli^ed Gross |l 
to the League of Nations, and the Swiss identification with neutrality and hospitality, had become 
fused with Images of national purpose and economic interest: Cantonal govemments were 
admonished by Bern to toe more restrictive lines, economic interests were warned by federal 
authorities to refrain from business connections with immigrants that would impair guidelines 
against " Ueberfremdunq ". Right-radical movements focussed political attention in the 1920s and 
1930s on the dangers of Communist and Fascist contaminations of Swiss traditional institutions 
and attitudes. By 1940, when the public was being prepared to resist a military incursion by the 
Third Reich, the thin line that separated racist (biological) from cultural (ethnic) stefeotypipg was a 

^ being widely recognized as crucial even among groups that hadlflirted with ^tegisf^^dramatic re^ 


f affirmation of the will to defend the liberal-democratic tradition 

/ r r r / / ff 


y \ V V V V» 

[ accommodation with Berim as unpatriotic and un-Swiss. After the 
war, some prominent appeasers in high places would be let gc^ (play on words in dialect: Pilef^ 
go la = let go. Pilet-Golaz was head of the Political Department during wartime). 

Generally , a comparison of Swiss admission policies for refugees from the Third 
Reich with the policies of other Western liberal-democratic countries in the 1930s shows that the 
political and ideological alignments and the economic protectionism of those Depression years 


were roughly similar in Western Europe and had similar consequences. In Switzerland they 




included a fascist-extremist fringe spreading antisemitic Propaganda, and marginal waves of 
rowdyism culminating in the murder of a Jewish merchant in the Jura district in 1942. The tiny 
Jewish Community m the country, amounting to about .05% of the population mobiiized jrr political 
and charitable resources and fought antisemitic invectives in the press or in public and economic 



life with considerable inteliigence. Bern jurisprudence acquired international fame when Jewish 
representatives brought suili^against the "Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion"/in 1920. The'cöürt I 1 


f ■>» 

■i (>^*>-y 

confirmed that they had been crude forgeries by Russian reactionaries, facts well establishe^in the 
scholarly literature 

Department (Ministry), 

. Butiederal Frendefrjolzei and its parent Organization the Justice and Police W^' • ■ -' *iK^^ 

he linkage between national interest and 

9- (L-<^ 

K nat^ist Population policies: refugees would om be given temporary asylum only on thre condition j J 
that they woulojre-migrate to countries of final settlement elsewhere. 

Oii oe ü i u pdi i ici fliyliLuf GtJ i i l ld li 

if 1933 lidü bUt)biU«ü'. 



rfiaiiy wtjiö 

iii üü iei i fd i 1 l i ll ut) fu i Lu ii ! 
äldil ll«üW llVüa üway hbiii WlfnanWthe Swiss Fremdenpolizei feit eufficiently. in og/ilfbl «f the "'^^ . . LJ 

0.r -/^«^ 

trickle of refugees, political asvium-seekers, students/and transients K admi^tSreign residents of 

substantial taxable mean.'s br family connections. The Swiss Association of Israelite Congregations 


- Schweizer Israelitische Genfieinbund - undertook to provide for refugees who had been or had 
become indigent; the League of Nations in Geneva, established a High Commission for Refugees 
and created the "NANSEN Passporf' for4b^4töp£Qteeted stateles^Swßs'änd international (Jewish i') 
and non-Jewish) social Service agencies extended their traditional outreach to new clientsp Jewish 



t • / 

emigres were stereotyped as "economic migrants" rather than victims of massiveApersecution, 
defamation, and despoliation, seen as war-mongering revanchists fixated on their property iosses. 
In actual fact, the about 20.000 Jews ts^^the country supported almost 6,000 indigent refugees 
between 1933 anq936, and would support 20,000 fugitives before the war ended. 



Mitleids rise to power in|933 had not changed Swiss restrictive polices for Jewish |<^^S 

refugees. The Fremdenpolizei refused residence permits to applicants who could not show 

Mtal^rVamily —"■—*:— ""♦^- --'^■' 


Austria on March 12, 1938, putthe Swiss System of selective admission to a severe test: Austrian 
Nazi brutalities escalated the panic flight of Jews (primarily from Vienna)rAustrian Gestapo-police 




pushed Jews without money or visas across the frontiers, neighboring countries closed their 

borders to all refugees. 1 , ^ ^.v .. u. 

One of the results of serving only as a/etuge ^liS^fiiediate- 


as that 

Swiss refugee policy had been made depend#nt on refugees opportunities for re#migration to pf ^ ^ ^ 
other countries. These countries, in Europa as well as overseas, however, had begun to restrict , , rl^ 
Immigration already during the Great Depression to protect their national workforce anditheV^ 
business and professional classes lobbying for protection against cpmpetition in a deflationary 

,OO0^ewilh:~^' -^ '^ '^ 

situationXFächyear until 1938, about 23 

,(on the avera^g, had found new 

^^^ ^J 



homes in as constructive ways as the vicious exploitation and pauperization measures imposed on 
them by German financial and Nazi agencies had permitted. In late 1937, however, the apparent 
^^HJi^ateflee^SetÄTeen the number of Jews needing and wanting to flee Germany and the number of 
available worldwide openings for immigratfiw began to fray. The Nazi govemment began to tighten 
its measures against Jews as policy shifted to conquests that would makeKOConomic and balance- 
of-trade considerations in Nazi antisemetic policies obsolete -^trade shifted to Asia! 
countries in turn^continued restrictionist policies or, like Palestine/^strengthened them severely. 



f ^> 

1 935, Swiss consulates in Germany routinely disewraged the wave of applicants and inquiries that 
followed the passage of the Nuremberg laws. ^ 193$, the combined impact of stepped-up 
persecution in Germany and the take-over of Austria in March brought a flood of legal and illegal 
asylum seekers that upset the Swiss balance between humanitarian traditions of toleration for the 
persecutediand economic p ercep ti on s. Travel to Switzerland had been unrestricted for holders of 





German passports and thousands of Austrianl gained entry to Switzerland within weeks after 
many more thousands of Austrians had welcomed Hitler on the Vienna Ballhausolatz while school 
children were let out of school to harass and molest Jews. Swiss economic interests like the hotel 
and tourist Industries and, presumably, the German chemical and Iron Industries lobbied for free 
travel across frontiers (I.G. Farben Hoechst was just then intensifying its corporate 
internatlonalization ). Meanwhile, Austrian S.S. and Gestapo units pushed Jews across the Swiss 



frontier at night after robbing them of whatever they had on them. Swiss protests in Berlin met with 

hypocritical promises of redress that were disregarded in practice while Austrian Nazi organizations 

celebrated their Ersatz revolution by brutalizing their enemies, especially Jews, the same way the 

German S.A. had celebrated theirs in early 1933. After weeks of tortured exchanges between the 

Swiss Federal governmentj^nd the Berlin Foreign Office, and S.S. representatives (Best a/o.).the , 1 

Nazi authorities agree^to stamp passports for Jews (Non-Aryans) with a large red ''J".)t would 

allow Swiss consulates and frontier Services to refuse entry to all who could not show visas and 

tickets for travel to final destinations beyond Switzerland. As yet, the Step did not stop Jews from 

Germany and Austria to flee Central Europe in record numbers in 1939, primarily to Great Britain 

and to overseas destination/like the U.S.A which had not increased its quotas for visas one Iota 

/ ' .. 

immigration sub-committees in Congress being controlled by Senators and representatives from " 

archconservative practically one-party, anti-Immigration Southern states,. Neither the pogroms of 

November 1 938 nor the outbreak of the War caused Swiss authorities to change the letter of the 

law, During the War this led to numerous tragic incidents as persons were tumed back at the 

frontier when they attempted illegal entries, or were caught in bureaucratic delays when they 

followed the ruies and feil victims to Nazi deportations. In spite of ^tnat hacrbeen 'reporteid-ty ' " 

Swiss print media[ and wireless reports of the persecution of the Jews, the Federal Police 

Department decreed on August 12, 1942, that 

.'/ \^ 

"Refugees who flee (German) only because of race', for example«' Jews, are not 


considered political refugees" , 

and thusjnot granteoir^um that had been the symbol of Swiss humanitarianism. 


(Ludwig 205). 


When this decree was issued in August 1 942 the number of refugees seeicing to I / ' i 
/) ^^ cross the Swiss-French frontier was at its Iowest ebb. Since the spring of 1 942^" tlre*äass/ had 
rounded up Jews In Holland, Belgium and occupied France for deportation to Eastern Europe, ' 
Jews fied towards the Swiss frontier. Their movement had been helped by Jewish and non-Jewish 
organizations from Boy Scouts to a Protestant mountain village in the French Alps, and guided by 
residents of the frontier regions identified by these organizations. The Swiss Bundesrat once again 
tightened frontier controls, guards were ordered in some areas to erect barbed-wire barriers. Swiss 
Police statistics for the period of August 1942 to mid-1943 put the number of asylum seekers 


returned across the frontier at about 1 0,000 V^t!t^t%ä:isim:^^i^WixSimSsm\, but-wben (7) 
■th©— presswe-trad-subsided and the Reie hskab ino tt . c omposed of its vast majority of 
Deutschnationale Honoratioren and Beemte . initiated a "cold" persecution by decree law to 
strangle Jewish activities in all spheres of life, most of them panic refugees returned to prepare a 

more constructive emigration from Germany. ~ 

llntil early 1938, Swiss policies appear to have been 


- • 'ß 

accepted by world opinion. The country was not perceived as an immigration country, a number of 
political and intellectual refugees stayed for shorter or longer periods % i before, moving on their 
final exile destination. The League of Nations in Geneva and the activities of international social 
agencies serving refugees, children, Jews in Eastern Europe, intellectuals, students, Nazi 
persecutees and other groups confirmed Swiss commitments to assist victims of Nazi persecution. 
One of the effective Steps taken in this area was a Convention worked out by the League of Nations 
to <^tiwth stateless persons. (One of the more insidious forms of long-range Nazi persecution 
was to deprive political enemies of the regime of their German citizenship, making them stateless 



persons, vulnerable to the worst treatment by police forces everywhere.) A less successfui step of 

the League had been the creation of a Commissloner of Refugees - its first Secretary , James 

McDonald, resigned in frustration, denouncing the passivity and callousness ofi.governments in 

--j/ alleviating the migration pressures resulting from Nazi persecution of the Jews/A second major 

debacle in international refuge policy is associated in he annals of those disnfial years with a 

French«tv located on the French coast of Lake Geneva, Evian-Ies -Bains . It had become second 

choice as a site for international Conferences of governments dealing with the deterioration of 

international migration caused by Berlin policies in 1938 - the Swiss government, apparentiy for 

fear of Berlin's ill will, had rejected the original selection of Lausanne as a Conference site. The 

Conference turned out to be a dismal failure in its attempts to persuade Berlin to cooperate with the 

west in directing emigration into more orderly channels-not to rob all ömigres of their \2mbi / / 

possession, and effect a liberalization of the restrictive policies of potential resettlement countries. 

Switzerland took a respected place beside Paris and London, Holland and Belgium as a center of 

international aid efforts. With the outbreak of the War in September 1939, the Bundesrat tightened 

restrictions on the admission of applicants for visas and or persecutees fleeing across frontiers 
illegally. The balance between the pressures exerted by persecutees on the frontiers and Swiss 
restrictions had frayed in Swiss government and public opinion. Already with the Auschluss of 
Austria on March 12/13 1938, when the organized wave of street brutality, the wholesale arrests, 
and the chaotic confiscations of Jewish property erupting in VIenna caused a mass flight of Jews 
rX across the Swiss frontier^SS and Gestapo forced Jews into trains after stealing their property, 
and pushed them across the Swiss frontier at night without having secured Swiss entry visas. The 

■ -sO^^ 

numberyiijgei applicants for asylum jumped to 10, 000 persons within a few weeks or months. 
Th^Poiice and the Politisches (Foreign Affairs) Departments sought to stop this malicious dumping 
of human beings and threatened to introduce visas for all German passport holders entering 

Switzerland, a move rejected by Berlin asi 

hampering free German trade ^j^disliked by 


r ,/i 

the Swiss as complicati^ tpiirism)S Instead, the Wilhelmstrass and Bern, after much feigning and - 
iy, agreed on introducing a special mark for "non-Aryan" pas$t)ort holders^lfijy: the 
infamous red letter "J". Subsequently, when the pogroms of November 1938 increased the number 
of applicants for visas at Swiss consulates in Germany many-fold - Austrians now received 
German passports, too - "Non-Aryan" applicants were screened out because they might tum into 




* • / 

emigres or refugees and could not be 

extradited, ("ausgeschaflf ) by the police. The 


ensuing public protests, and\parliamen^ \ questionsl led to some modifications of admission 

policies for political, humanitarian and economic considerations. The "J".of course,had become a a^'1i.<?< ,ie»f 
fixture ofyGerman passports fcr Jews^ ,-/om. i\«f F* •** ' ^^' 




exciusion of Jews from entering Switzerland unless they could 
demonstrate dose blood relations with a resident in the country or financial viability, continued until 
another large group of Jews appeared at the frontier in the Fall of 1942 requesting admission or 
Crossing the frontier, mainly the French-Swiss frontier, without Swiss permission and travelling as 
far into tha^ountry as possibleTto avoid being retumed forthwith. They had escaped from Holland, 
Belgium and France/^ German round-ups of Jews there had begun. Now the crisis was aggravated 
because Austrians had become German Citizens and traveied on German passports. Requiring 
Swiss entry visas so that Bern could screen "non-Aryans" out was strongly opposed by Swiss 
economic and tourist interests who needed German business. The Politisches Department in Bern 
vjHsedthe Chief of the Police Department,kap- cxQQuli vfl-a ii ie ffla fe to serve as its point man in its 
prolonged diplomatc footwork with Berlin, and agreed to a prepeeerf-it hüdMtccff incinujtccflin the 

course of its diplomatic exchanges and meetings earlier on. From September, 1938, all German 

passports issued to "non-Aryans" would be stamped with a large letter "J", Jude. 



In 1954, the publication of selected key documents from the German Foreign 

counseied the Swiss Politisches Department to avoid nine years earlier. The published material 


negotiations that had dragged on for months, and as Naef had suggested, 

needed to be placed into their historic contexts. Liberal opinion now identified Heinrich Rothmund, 
and the Polic^ Department as the Chief culprits and A collaBoration with Nazi racism, It had little 
effect on the public debate that the Department Chief, Bundesrat Markus Feldman, pointed out to 

parliament that thr-'efitii^ Council of Ministers (Bundesrat ) had been informed of the German -^ ^ 

Swiss exchanges and had passe^^^aloirnal vote of approval oa the "Scarlet Letter" 

the red "J". The Department would comply with the Interpellation , the Bundesrat would commission 

a füll report. A respected Swiss Jurist, Basel law professor Cari Ludwig who had had a 



distinguished government career, was commissioned by the Bundesrat to report on nihe . ^ 

Tluechtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zu Gegenwart (1957)" His' ' ^ ^ "^^ 




., 98 a ; recent 


^ jnGktd^jgsmalyekj cy-the political context^but focused on the high level federal and cantonal 
-agefiöfis, not their roots in civil society . Of^ political parties. . Whatever its political implications, 
that asylum and Immigration had become police matters all over continental Europe structured n ^^^ i^n 
policies precisely as internal security and defense issues in terms of ftwitttfal self-images and 


nationalistdemography^tvk^ h '^^C ^^t'c^ f^ ^ kVm/hio^^T^ '^^ 

The "Ludwig-Report" was transmitted to parliament in 1957 and accepted without 
debate. It was issued by Herbert Lang & Cie, Bern, as a trade bok in 1966 in identical form, and 
was universally accepted as a balanced presentation, Ludwig minced no words about the actions 
and attitudes he found reflected in the documents perceived at the time as a search for 
compromises between the liberal-democratic ethos of the Swiss tradition of asylum and 
I l compassiomand the Realpolitik they saw themselves pressured into by a Nazi juggernaut that had 
begun to overrun their neighbors from 1938 on (Austria) and had come to a halt at their own 

frontiers after the fall of France in 1940. 

^ * 


On the negative sjple, the report amounted to an indictment of the wartime ^ 

Polic^ Depa rtment and its Chiefs in their accommodation with the Third Reich in connection with 

the "Scariet Letter" of 1938. It also brought to light the circumstances that led up to the ru 

Department's decision in early August 1942, to"^! tne frontiers to Jews seeking to-Äöter. The 

Department had reaffirmed its long-standing practice "not to recognize refugees (fleeing) racial 

persecution as political refugees", i.e. to ^ returnji^ unless bad health, age, or relatives in 

Switzerland allowed exemptions. (This September 26, 1 942 (Ludwig 28) advisory had foitowed ^ 2 

'^ - 



considerable public and parliamentary dissatisfaction with earlier more stringent directives ordering /> 

the returning refugees even if5t^"would expose them to dangers to llfe and limb" (August 1 2. 1 942 . 
Ludwig 204) Trench Jews m&i be returned without exception since they da not face any danger 
in their homeland." (ibic. 223). The older, more liberal pollcy of granting asyium to allen refugees / L^ 

"for reasons of humanity or for domestic and foreign policy considerations" 
modification of the cantonal practice to return all comers "without further ado". (ohne weiteres 
auszuscbaffen ). f/i'^ A i:C'^<»-( ^^ ^^ py<\'jJt fJ^"l - \^^>i^Mv- J!fit 







^i^cii c\f' -^^'^y' (l^ 







I \ 


History has not dealt kindly with the SKixx 
n (as yet no women ! ) who charttjed the course of Swiss 


policies in WOrld War II.JLike in World War One, Ugovernment by 
decree" ( Vollmachtenreg i me ) was considered necessary to hxhkükxxx 
expedite decision = -mak:ing as the country was surrounded by 
^ totaHtarian systemVJthey recognized as alien to th^ir values. 

Military ceonsorship controlled thexKKS^Hiaaxjc flow jHfxiRfExmaJsxHK 

of inform ation. Parliamentary debate was 

6 by patriotic 

discreaftion or shifted to secret sessions, Newspapers violati ng 
the limits of discretiOn faced Suspension e ven l^ reporting on 
5i^ '7> b.V|^/(^ >^^ public pronouncement or debates in the House of Commons . Eco- 
f^f)i\Ml-^(^ nomically, industry and financial Services allowed themselves to be 

..>-^C AC il\/'C 

I . ... integrated into the AxisKsystems that controlled the import 

]JU\^'^^^^ '^^'^ fff of ^ stuff s and raw materials. Culturally, ®^«iisix:S:xaHiä inst^itu^i 

^fconal /ÄSwitzerlamd lIMiM^RiMthe sjpiritual and intellectuaY^iMlÄ^ 
^ÄxÄiii^kÄxÄÄMHiltX ^Sainst totalitarien and racist ideologies ^nd 

eniisted education, Publishing, the media, public life in 

in depth against 
defence h£ ±:fcsxiäKBaHExai±Kxi±kKxxa±xxsH±:^xa:sxKx:kxHR MÄlcüSS 

ie^feSxRSiSSxifeicMiiSx s^&^nrxy^^r^rB^^^'^^d^e i evbr more c ^hroate 

by the crude force of /^miTx1:ary^ Q4ApQriorite 7 . Quisling-st^ile 

fascism had already been defeated in the 1930s: Swiss ptrHrtrs-©« 

^ |-*^ee of fascit parties. The hysterda of Nazi politics 

IjUÄde^^&t-atsed Swiss/ . wayX 

was recognized as the antithesis oiv th^ey^ÄÄRixixfeÄXXÄ ^t5T ^ksxx 

the I s 

Skxxs doing public ^usines^ss. Still, the rift beteen the integratio; 

•of its economy into the AXis -controlled ind^ustria)l and 



financial systemf 


rf^.nancJRl ^i^sJ^^S^and 

eistiqe Lande sver teidiqun q 


■di.f fpr 

• • 

>n.1 i.ri p.s| nboii|t the limits 
of accouiodation to Nazi power; Realpolitik, ÄRöxxKiSHKiHiia^iMgx 

yielding to force and power 

val of the 

country without in:^vasion ^ ÄKKÄXiax ÄH^xiäÄXitxiiistixÄxm 


worked in^ new York for decades in readings rooms and libraries 

ft;Tiat attractfed sholars or readers— -whoseprejudices against German 

^ ews lay just below the surface and vieldedT easilv to^aT humarous 
r f \)\) A\ I ! / / /' // // / /söurf olS poI4 ^Sö lad 

O^'i ^H'l / tUiT^Pproach e^tqept w<|(lth some hard-coj 

I ^, . , -^ - re ./q^pussy j ,whö~"scapegoaT 

Kjtiieir defence Systems and were incurable. 


US ±ssxe:±< 

V, .V H*^ 

^"V^'i^Ttb^t^ ^ ^-^V"^ •'1-^^'* f^^t'*' 






In June 1942, Swiss legislation against the admissison ofpärsecuted 

Jews to (temporary) asylum reached its KiHsi apex: Bern ixmxiKä 

o h 
excluded Jews from LUiiülduidtiön lur admission« w^ii the pretext that 

/ I d 
Jews were not political p^esecutees but •'eing persecuted only for 

reasons of race. "/French Jews too were excluded since they were 

not in dangerof lif e y^- the old "economic refugee" canard current in 





? ^v\ 

the 19 3 0s even among German ^«fcicw'^ fe^S^^ejp publiations in Western 
Europe* '^*V ülV ]5.1'iUwlL:dy(ji., fchePolice-and Justice Department ha4 issued 
giHHHix decreesp#4siiy in response to increased pressure on the 
Swiss frontiers by fugitives reacting to ^~ 4^h (! »--by 4ii;w h3>j^^ ^£3bc 
Nazi persecuion measures, or historic events like the Spanish 
civil war, the ebb and flow ofrmxTitary nrqj-^ionrT/ the occupation 
of Austria in March 1938. International trade and the hotel and tou- 
rism Industries conflicted wi|th the mission the allen police had 
made their own since its foundation early in the 20th Century^ to 
l^egylate the flow of allen nationals within the limits deemed acceptahi 
le to the great variety of political groupings and subdivisions of 
the decentralized federal str^ucture/lrh«-^conomif Players (business, 
industry, professionalgroups, tradeunions) , the churches and ideolo- 
civil, Service and intellectual establishment, to namej^ some/ niajo r 
ones. :^Fremdenpolitik - policy on the admission of aliens - as the 
police saw it - was as influenced by defence interests and mobilizat- 
ion plans as bynational Ideals and^iconi/Vlike the ideal-type 

Ot the Population made its thei 

H|M.<f armer and mount ain cowherd 

ö caiiu. i . 


. HV^' 

living from agriculture in the 1980sl/r^d örban ways of living, the 
Service Industries and manuf acturing incl uding the leading chemical 

and heavy induries had_ brought ir a substant^^ial numberof npi^ 

'^ {^20 % of the working force in 199 OsA 


foreign workers> 

/ ^vu^ 

^ mos 



On June 13, 19 43, I slippüd dciuss 







German - Swiss frontier in a wooded area near the dictrict 

in the x state^_af.--Badaru7 
town of Singen^ GermarK^^Hnd the capital of the Swiss cantopti of 

Schaf f hausen • The first volume^of these memoirs, and thw memoirs 

\[ ^ \ ^t^r , ^^:9fi?m^ A^ '-'^ 4^ 

V/\Mmy war-time friend a«ä smim^ l'^rnkto: published simultaneously in 

1997 and 1999 in our En^Jlish Originals and in German translations , 

HKä and , y^^ 

teil ethe stories of our youthSz-^^^our" famili^5^£2Sx^«^ the 

malevolent destruction of our lives / as the Nazis spread hatre(^^ 




rserf tmenfe,Yajid:~violent aggression among ever^fi'-'creasing number^- 

\ '^ of Germans. Lotte and I had found eahhother at the outbreak 
of the-^War in Berlin-'l^e survived persecution and finallyyjthe 
deathly threat of being transported to a killing camp in Eastern 
Burope . MoSjjf members of our families did not. In Sep|tember }942, 
we were forcedymto hiding with Jewish and Christian friend^ 

Ui V .- — ^^ ■ ^ ' — - ^-^ 

fl?^ the Nazi secret polic^ in the Berjin "undergroundy. 
Our books memorialize the often dumb luck that saved us from 


being caught, and the 


D risks our friends took to help 

US. In the end^ Lotte 's uncle and aunt Ludwig and ^Ise Schoenebrg 
who had emigrated earlier to Lausanne^ S3witzerland, brought toget| 
ther a network of German -^Snd Swiss helpers, a veritable "under"»- 
ground railroad" , that helped us andj WI Itjw jt 

literarally scores of other fugitives from Nazi reach 

wit/iA their lives 

the sSfe Swiss haven. Some helpers paid 

lAuiicj-j. j.ives for 

saving us and ours friends from being murdered in, the ignomini 

ous mass executions 

' ■ * * 

m Eastern Europe. 

I / '- ' » 


r ••» 


j( -L-^ 


< I 

Choosing Switzerland as a refuge of last resort 
was neither accidental nor arbitraryf We had friends and 


in several Western European and Scandinavian coun- 

from Nazi persecutionr^ Several pf the younger members of ^c»^.. , \ 

tries who had found what they thought would e^ a safe refuge 

iger members of v^ 
both Lotte ' s and my family had joined the 'resistanceVaf ter 
German armies had invadäd Western and Northern Europa. One of 
Lotte 's second cousins died fighting the Nazis in the Nether- 
lands. Two of myA cousins from K'tfrlsruhe fought in the 



resistanee movements agäinst the Nazis, the maguis. 

I learned abouttheit activitles öTTtY-wh^n^Lo' 


j^ t?V.:^/^ 


^ * \K 


a young men at the Hebrew Immigrant She.,ce/', -cüe hiAS, in-^ 

New York^who turned outy^one of my cousins: "jÄ|^y I,.. Herbert Straus 

\j / \/ >'i ^^ wife Lotte^'^^^Tritz Strauss, on the way tcb Los Angeles to 

(\ ^^V / ^ . . . ^^ 

join my family" ,one of those unlikely coincidenfet^:.we had Bimsj^fc 

KiHJfcx5cx±hxin OHXXMKÜkHiyxKSKEipKxxisiHxy learned to expec^ xh 

the unlikely- cuiiiuidoiiL*^ of our escapes and survivals . rThis^' hajbpe 

ned ^ few days following our arrival in New York in late 

October 1946^ Ludwig and Ilse Schoeneberg, Lotte' s uncle and aunt 
TrPlTa u banne , Switzerland , became our only hope fpr escaping from 
our precarious Underground lives in Berlin: Lotte ' s mother 
had been nursing Jeanette Bildesheim, her and Ludwig ' s mother, 

in Berjin/until her deäth in Berlin in the s ümmer of 193? 


and Ludwig had keenly feit his failure to move^-the Swiss 

authorities to -^rant his Berlin relatives temporary residence 
&reR!*©^ in spite of his depositing "gara^itöf money" (a security 
läHKiatHäKdx- »J:o-^pay for their upkeep) with the canton of Vaud" 

/ .' 



.., hfj'j) 






r i ve r /'cHrd --noir^i H^===in 
3r«^Holland ancj Belgium^^ 

t/f/ iA^:^.^f^ 



Vacx.iu«-A* _^ 





/ (Ä 




f J ewish ürban settlement in 

rbanized support enjoyed 

■ y on l-y beginning to 
during those years Wfl£/V\ 
^Qoort trtP- organize^ resistance^v*»-^Tworkers were being rounded 

up and sent to 


by Jfews'fin France, 

, \ ^ V >' , s 

German factories i 

ujjl ' gQ V^ 
. Similarly, the large numbers of Italians seek 




Switzerland acros/"the Southern and Western frontiers had been 
suiported by a brfoad ränge of institutions like monaetries 

and local churches. The 


incluieS-Si^fifi ?«!5eS^fle 

ing thebutbursts of antisemifisi/while the fascist regime 
collapsed or tried«' J^t gasp of energy, to link German-style 

antisemitism with their ]8rgrsr reaaiy >. ^€;i ' i ragig - b 

/^/A/ / // //// ' 

These massive movements of Jewish populations 

and the iillMXKxXf Swiss elected officials, militar^y 

leaders or bureaucrats in position, to know(like the Red 

Gross leadership/o3?^tfte"'"^!itelligence sections of the mi-tx-tary^ ^1 

^ -^^ the ^'^ I 

ar'^the numerous Channels available to Foreign Office ( Politica 

Departmen) in Bern had not antered Jewistr-ihedia- iike'-t±re 

Ju^d4;&^e--W6<^iaä^i4t£^ ? ^vava^iabie-to-me- -^-n -Be^n- o^r--othöt 

cities where Jews lived in some numbrs!" Information on 

the beginning Jewish catastrophe was suppressed ever^ywhere^- 

Washington and LOndon ehi^ught to avoid linking the sacrifices 

their people were forced t to Shoulder with the idea^-^- — -, 

that these we*^ xi^^^ugi^t to save the persecuted Jews z^-" a Jewish 






and France towards the Swiss frontier,wmovinq in staqes 

from half-way house to half-way house, guided by a wide v6ri?y 


whcQ-at the end of the journey would femm"'^e 

•Tl/Vtl -fll 


(?^J ö^^ 

» 1/IgA 

gr^oups ^3? families ^AA would-be f amilieslover 


gx^HK^sxx natives of the area who would help them to avoid- 

arrest by French or German police or premature discovery by 

Swiss customs and police or military units guarding the 

Swiss side of the f rentier. Even a conservative estimate of the 

numbers of fugitives winding their way through Western 

Europe iHxiaÄ2}6 would arrive at the astonish^ing figure of 

Jew^ishy 34000 v^/vw^ 

50.00(Xmen, women and children^i:4,000;. gf. these/vtiinened away 
\ - "^i^ "^^"^^ fugitives S^J^*-' 


< W 


immediately or repatriated b^ 


Labout '^Ifl^OOO 




granted temporary asylum for the dur^tion of thßir emergency 
' Swiss police exfe^ased=aoüm^1^ägrtr^dT^rrnany fugitives 

could have HsiäKäxikEx escaped the attanion, of the German 

occum AT-s I ( T.iiHw \. -(-ViöTT ,„,,„4-iiu- t ^ — "-■ -- ^ - ■ 1 — X.' 

occupiers ( Ludw.): they musfhave 


when the treks passed throuiMgh,;»*!^ ipcal guides must have been 
bylthe Jews" y Sit- / 

/bribed^to b^^are '* T3binscl4tlii*-.&iiiüy g l^j ^s^ tradej% in human 

misery for monetary gams, slave traders.despicable prof iteersii« 
A Show up ^ '^ ^^^ '-T^ 

l?CVwJ^ ö>vU aV^^^i'°"^ ^° embarxHssxthe Swiss phüek police work as inc?omptent/ in 


the^ eyes of their professional colleeagues ,etc. 




I 1. f'^t 


I Ci 'K ( «^ W/UlH <^<<, ( <• f <■« 






\ V"' 







V ^^'r^ponts-:?^ the revolting roundup of Jews f or 
deportation and the hideous con/di/tions in Eastern 
European ghettoes •* BgCgCgBHx äiiJEga iM JJiMBMriS rsMHdgaxMgxjkBix ate^ve^ 


u-f«te**u.rfHU the desp^ate attempts of the fugitives to escape their 

^^i:Lli>'2lly^WP,J 4V'X-<' X'^öft >^(Si S^i\ inU hardly 

fate - an J h - i 'ia ndGged ^ forced expulsion of refugees !y acts that canHHfc 

be condoned any longer" ( ibid. p.93, verbatim excerpt from R. 
S±&K±SK Jezler/,s report, July 3 0,19 42) . 


BS^ i.e. Lofte ,Lutz Ehrlich or I , had been made aware onl| 
ly in the vaggest terms that we might be sent back if the police 
found US close to the f rentier without proper p apers orSwiss U'^^S* 
permita^-tö-en-tei- . AMong our Berlin friends,tWo young women had 'l^'c^OkJ 

failed to get across the frontier, or so we thought . ^^ believed that t| 
they had perished 

when the Gestapo 

caught them on the 

way to the frontier and dep/orted them to a concentration camp. Miracu 

VQtion s. 

lously,our friend Ruth Basindki, survived more than 2 years 
m Auschwitz - shebad been selected to play the flute in the 
notorious/ prisoners' orchestra. Her companion,^/^g^^Ä^*'music 
Student, had been interned in the Ravensbrueck concentration camp and 

m««aSE&* there. None of us knew about her fate until long after the 

war h;,^ ^nd^rS wfii'^B,,Ru,th found ''adWess t^^'*:,^^^^;^!^^^^ 

war nad ended, ..Z ...... i. ^ /t)robably CÄ'et^riends in 

London. The^ had tried to cross the Swiss-Alsation frontier and 
were stopped right at the frontier by Swiss police who returned them 
the same day aft"6r d-axk- 

to avoid -t«i?jiiag theffl=^v^ei?^-..fe^ the Gestapo 
post nearby.vfc Swiss arrested them again When they atfeempted a seconci 
crossover.^^an^f'lianded them over to the German Gestapo: the federal 
allen police (Polizeiabfeilung) hadidvised the locil Swiss frontiers 
guards ^ (on August 13, 1942, Kreisschreiben, mComa report 1999 



p.93) to follow this procedure to "diminish the 

et^-s^ault ( Zudrang) 

of refugeees especially ^ Jews of several nationalities whpse 
p¥i'i['in I I i IUI \ were reaching the ^ü^^ of Jews o^^ Iy3 8" ( ibid) . 

These and similar pieasures and practices had run up against 
considerable protest: The Ludwig report (bibl . )nientions spontaneous 
protests staged by Swiss living near the frontiers against the 

-ifefeein\in famÜF or other 


puB)iic r efoui ement^ Vqiany 
detained in prisons or hospices 

groups and vv^A- 
. Äeligious/ pon-conf ormil 

mist groups led by well-kn^n spokemen or-women J.ike Gertrud Kurz 

of the BernerFä^iedensdiensti or Pastor Vogt of Zuerich, and the centra] 

Jewish oraanization/ Atsraelitischer Gemeindebund) used pearsonBfci 


the harsh sLHfcixiäswxsk pxaKÜKKX the/ government had 


KxixKKisi^rxx^^^^'äHfHXKiKdx when the thri 

gvM«7VAJi th' 

td mass exterminati< 


W^^ on,nad become common knowledge i!ä3r''Swiss pHixKxxxKiakxHJ^x political 7)'///)'/ ^ 


Bcome common Knowieage im 

course was not character- 

isticAof Switzerland ahd its policies towards refugees 





bespeaks the demotalization, the shock, suf f ered by European and possiblj 
also Aerican Jewry during the two world wars that everywhere 
Jewish spokesmen remained silent and discreßfi^ like bankers and 
would-be diplomats ^^ tUüit wm^ 3 i ^L uBJ g^ sdl^S'^IrlV i^ntoi thSB 
WiaL iaccepting^-lr i ngs q|fcifee5rn;;7ere was the rNy// 
. _ nity-dtiscious JEWISH Laaers,y:|l;5^ äfp^ft fcSur rabbis did not — ^-'^^ *- 

Ye-L^- a e it wero; — Switgorla nd tavetled on more roads tharL— 

long night^ 

^»S!«*- -. 


-- 'V^X.^ ^'^' 

and xäsxxxxxa inter-faith diplomatsi __L / ^ 

v j-llag e — ^trmp — xenopho b i a i nCC"'"ttre-"po3 1— wa r wo^ld^r- 

Postwar hitoriÄr^ in Israel and el 

World-War II 
1ia^a.^83^ibyxÄX3Ci5?i»g Zionist^/ 

füll im^^cations of their 

failed to measure upii to 

sewhere hav^ointaiS outjj? that ? ^'^^ 

world-leadership roles and 

the/J catastrophe 
threatening the Jewish people as the Holocaust unfolded. 


Switzerland, of course, had entered the twentieth Century 

enjoying the esteem of thejpeace-loving liberal wotad of progressive 

o^<( A ^.v<K r. ,xfQ 1 1 ir^faifr^ " home if'to 
Europe-v 5ö^j^^i>i^5ööö^jö^ many iHkKXHH^isHHixKiiHdKä organizations 

both government-and privately sponsored, whose missions and 

Services were designed to 



1»^ the _ 

by the ultimately cataclysmic results i^Taggressive , war-prone 

\ V^^v nationalism and Darwinism of ^the. agef^The innocent Image I had 

'^(k^^"' carried m my head as a teenagerkhld crystajlized over literally 

^V \ centuries in the concept neutralityoafnrjl^i ' ' ■■ ' " 







guideline even if its self-serving and opportummstic implications 
did not escape the attention of fctitical historians. Moi— ^ rTJke 
the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 in the Weetern hemisphere, it entered 


into patterns of meaning that were far removed from the 

minds of its originators,but remained a corrective in public 

ebataof the fequent and massive 

v^A/^ 'i' "^ 1 ' 





togixLaX_pQw.ex_£)05i±±cm . I-:ES3tr§*iy 


Vl^J" C^^^^ 

This corrective function -pe^et^^ated also one of the 
paradoxes of Swiss policies towards European fugtivives from 

religious intoler-ance and political persecution, the honorable 
Swiss tradition of granting asylum^to religious and political 

intolerance, in the 16th and seventeenth centuries 


the "Marian refugees" from England, the Huguenots fleeing 

France after the St Battholomew m-assacres and the expulsion 

of Protesattn dissenters like the Calvinists, the Waldensians, ' 

the Salzburgers ( 

and other Protestant gfoups t- emtitjjrg^^jr;^ forced out oftheir 

homesby the l«cca3;=::^i^^hc^^-^With the French Revolution, politica 

social class ideologixaa^ added (partly secujar) fervor to 


the many hatreds majorities are wont to direct at minorities 

whose di«=a^pa:a^:=a^%e^ promised gains in property and 

positions owned or held by exellees whose differences from their 

enemies are often hard not to dismiss as "^/anities of small 

differences." 1^4^^ "vener able traditon^^Of graatn^ asylüiin 

to xiKJfcxKis refugees in need abxHHäx had become a widely accepted 

gppular tradition by the 19th Century - even if they soiigfe^ help 

from members of their own churches or belief s. I found it sadly 

amusing to learn from a Swiss memorial exhibition mounted 
- i^ ' • J ' /l 

' i'^i\^\\^y^^^ ^^ ^'^^ Lausanne cathedral EissK parish houseLni986 that char ity di^ 

0\\\l^i r^M -^ rbegm alt^iiome e^en 200 years ^.^^sr^: Calvinist congregations feit 

' ^ fugitive^ 

^^'^f^Cii'U^y^j^ y^ swamped by the sudden influx of/'co-f eligionists from France 

tcM^' ^-j )l!%^,ii(h\^ (Snd sent them on north on the RHine river to German states 

''"^ betterable to pay for the maintenance and resttlement of the 

"unfortunate" victims knockin<^at their doors . It feit like a "de ja 

vu" XKaKfcxEiHxtia experiencejbo read that the city of_^chaffhause 

did their best to motivate the fugitive Huguen^ots, their fellow 

Protestants, to"weiterwander 

nT: the 1:c5wn 

^ people had counted 16,000 

—^ vu 

m^nj<^ women.and children arriving feEixESH at that port city of th^ 
Rhine where streams of Protestants Coming across the v^-'Jura 
mountains v f XEMxxlianiia^BriHKXHf and through Geneva and Bern, 




congregated and received temporary ehalter - just like Lotte 
and me when we fled Nazism in 1943 but unlike us in social 


expercbence: in line witli 20th Century culture, we were "processedy 

by several levels of Jbureaucracy, held in prison and ^^mps 
and interrogated extensively, btrt--bhen left alone"HHi:xi 

" as Zivil-Internierte" until the visa divisions of several 

countries helped us to find cur final destinations .The federal 

government of Switzerland was quite concerned about 

lest an 
cur moving on jfcHXHxaiä an excess of allen residents ("Ueberi/^ 

fremdun^Er" might dilutfe i^?e- native 

Swiss Culture. . . 

We cpuld of course af#Dr-d 


ke f un at many things 




Sjaiiss- hpraus e tkey had saved our livess — — ^öy^xHxJkhxsxKHSK 

me«ning»J^lie-.j:LOuni:ry — surviving- dj^^Na^i^j^gupied TEurope . 
while our fellows ^ews under Nazi control and ourselves 
in war-time Berlin Kin the eye of the storiii, As many good 
friends worked together for us to find our way into - the Canton 
of Scljaf f hausen. .. .Lotte 'a and my memoirs ( bibl) describe the 
c^rcumstances .In a number of ways, and for good psy5:hological 
reasons^ we bothaft: had formed a most positive Bxtd of what 


the country would/z^skK that held all our hopes for life 

agaist death. It was a child's phantasy land, fairy tale 

simplicity, scraps of that violet (Suchard) cholcoladewrapper 
William Teil in period costumes in Schiller 's st irring play, 
the stage as^a^noral Institution" (moralische Anstalt) inmidfet 


the drfamation hhät nov^^^^'^^the end], 'turned'^^n^^^^^ f^e'"' 
threat we escape«« Jfe-hef^e., to Swiss fredom/ 


When Ia crossed the German-Swiss froutier north of the 
Rhine near Schaffhausen at midnight of June 12th 1943, Swiss polic 
cies towards Jews fleeing Nazi persecution had bequn to 
recover fromVtTTe worst moment in their humanitarian tradition , 

im t-n virtim? ^f il i i r i irijl i i 

inhumani^y t 

In early September 1942, just nine months earlier, the 
Federal Police Department, had decreed that "refugees fleeing 
rHKXHixgjKXSKXMJiXH only for raciall reasons , for example Jews, 
a:fie not, considered political refugees", and HHiyxikasK were not 
^ _ eligible for a grant of .anylun and expelled to the country they 

^ 1 had come f rom. ^ ffl^n estimated 34,000 Jewish fugitives were feWs//^ 

^%f v^ ^ , ^v PK J -i . --— rr-^""" 

^ \ returnedto Nazi control at the height of the Holocaust to face 

' '' deportataion and murder|in Eastern Europe. The chances of being ad 

» ^ ^ ' mitted increased if a fugtive managed to pass t?hough the 

frontier zone, said tojo^about 10 miles in depth, and stress the 

_ 'very real danger to life and limb he tesS faced in Germany. The 

country had a streng tradition of local and individual inde- 

pendence,the closing of the frontiier in 1942 reflet$ied o^^ one 

straim of^ Swis^ war-time c^^fctogcixiii ^ ^ against a Nazi attack that 

The harshness of that measure 4*?r.i 
never camer J^called up protests that reached right into the 

Co iV) 


"political classes" ^nd rejigious spokesmen, the organized Swßiss- 

Jewish Community, to representative of what had been best in 

the civic creed that had given the country its distinction ever 

since rä^ligigus and political dissenters had fpund shelter 

from the tyranny of the majorities/^ The Impulse for institutional 

self-preservation, fear of ec^omic compatition or political conflici 

/A 2 q 

I • • l 




cein the pluralistic welÄ ÄliilälÄ^^o?New York, Israel, the USA, 
carried on interdenominationally and for numerous caUSES,it seems 
fair to remember this first tfsnfcact with a civic culture 
that included acts of solidarity by äSIsSiSs'HSixxiäi^iäLISSx^"^'^^' 
«i.x«ä««teÄ«^x5xÄ«x«itoÄiik«xxx/ranks and files, jewish and Christian 
and by the stude nt body of fe^ Swiss universit^'^that would symbolizs 


/ if not th^^ major step away from oppression to freedom. 


/ I 

V'^ ; 


the district town o 

slipped äcross theüerman-SwIss 

, in the German State of Baden, and the capital of the Swiss canton ,.'■ 

>ir»,- and th e moff iof re iii y wa i U i i i e f ri em 

of Sphaffhausen. The-fifst- vo l umoo of t t i e s e memoir s ,- and th o moff iofr s iii y wa i U iii b f ri e ii ü di r g 

:OtteTTOÄlTslreü biiiiulldiiyuubly nH597- and 1 999 m our- Eft§li6h-ofi9mals-aftd-German 



-^üf youths-and ^ur4amilie$j the-fflalevelent destfücti o n o f ou r livj& s , 



Lotte and 

I foultd 

renvy^di iü v i u l e iii d y yiessi o n amot^ evertncreg4n^ - / / / 
each other at the outbreak of the War in Berlin. We 

survived pors e cution and finally escaped the deathiy threat of being transported to a killing camp in 
Eastern Europe. Igtest members of our families did not^ln September 1942, we were forced by the 
Nazi secret police into hiding in the Berlin "Underground" with Jewish and Christian friends. Our 
böö^ memoriQlize the often-dumb luck that saved us from being caught, and the heroic risks our 

friends tool< to help us. In the end, Lotte's uncle and aunt, Ludwig and Ilse Schoeneberg who had 

emigrated earlier to Lausanne, Switzerland, brought together a network of German and Swiss 

helpers, a veritable "Underground railroad" that helped us and scores of other fugitives from Nazi 

Berlin, to reach the safe Swiss haven. Oon w N gIpO« paidwlfh tIjSM: Mji,for <?avinolJs'ah 
friends from being murdered in one of the ignominious mass executions that would have been our 
lot in Eastern Europe. 

Chooslng Switzerland as a refuge of last resort was neither accidental nor 


arbitrary. We had friends and relatives in several Western European and Scandinavian countries 
who had found what they thought would be a safe refuge from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. 
Several of the younger members of both Lotte's and my famlly had joim 1 the resistance after 
German armies had invaded Western and Northern Europe^ One of Lotte's second cousins died r .■^ 
fighting the Nazis in the Netherlands. Two of my cousins from Karlsruhe fought in the French 




, . . A ^^ I resistance movements against the Nazis, the maouis ./ 1 learned about their activities only when 

Lotte and I met a young man at the Hebrew Immigrant Shelter, the ^ifiS, in New York: Helumed 
. out to be one of my cousins: "IVlay I, Herbert Strauss, my wife, Lotte" "Fritz Strauss, on the way 
T Los Angeles to join my family", one of those unlikely coincidences we had learned to expect amidst 
the surreal circumstances of our escape^ and suryivaf This one happened a few days following \ 


our an-ival in New York in late October 1946. Ludwig and Ilse Schoeneberg, Lotte's uncle and aunt;;t 
in Lausanne, Switzerland,^Bec§me our only hope for escaping from our precarious Underground 
I u; " ^ /; hves in Berlin' Lotte's mother had been nursing Jeanette Bildesheim'^her and Ludwig's mother/in 

Berlin until her death the summer of 193^aiwl Ludwig had keenly feit his failure to 
move the Swiss authorities to grant his Berlin relatives temporary residence permits in spite of his 
depositing "guaranty money" (a security to pay for their upkeep) with the canton of Vaud. The 
"canton had already granted asylum to too many Jews on its soll" and, by law, could only admit 
petitioners demonstrating "dose family relations of Swiss Citizens or legally admitted residents" the 
"Alien Police Office' in Lausanne had^ritfea Ludwig's Swiss lawyer Wilhelm Abegg in Zürich on 
February 10, 1943. The best ^ta | i8t ie al Information emerging in the 1990s on the number of Jews 
-^ seeking asylum,^during World War II jfn^in^t t^r $M\fi0 prrrri-nljjrnth thrr-/ points to about 




'"- u ( cc 

134,000 Jews denied admission or returned äcross the frontier, some of them even after they had 

turned themselves in to the police on their own volition or on the advice of organizations caring for 
refugees^ I do not know if Louis anf| Johanna Schloss had been included in this estimate whose 
sources, reputabiß Swiss scholars,^wH-f«ä«- part of^SwIsTwaröme history. Lotte and I (and a 

also had been wamed by a well-placed Swiss official in Berlin about the 



danger of being apprehended too dose to the frontier and returned forthwith to nazi Germany^^bHf- / , 

Jy June 1 943, Swiss pdicy on granting Jews asylum had löfi§.been quietly softened in response to 

/_ I ,.— I u ■ " * " " ' 111"»* / 




publtc proteste7it had been enfbroed at Western and Southern Stretches of tharfrontier where 
^ j f < ^ ,^ J insunkäent cantonä polloe forces feH swamped and threatened by the sudden airival of thousands 
,' l\u V i ^'^ ^^g Je^sh refugees fleeing deportabon in HoMand, Belglum. and France In the Spring of 1942; the 

Nari oawpiers had Ijegun to »Test thousands of Jews in thtse countrtes and intern them in can^ 

öelbre sendlng them to thelr dealh in Eastem Europa. Thousands fletf twwÄ tf« SWss fronlier 
in a unique dandesline trei( through Westem Europe, helped bi Jewish and Christian 



sodal Service organizatlons, intemationai aid agendes, church groups, children's homes, 


Qiv\ X^ 


\0 (7t\-"0^*^ 


orphanages, boarding schools, trade unions.political partles, even whele mountain villages settted 

by staunch Protestants descendedifrom l-luguenots. At the end of this 'Underground railroad' 

waited French and Swiss frontiersmen to guide the fugitives to or across the fix)ntier. To my 

fknowledge, this wide-ranging activity. probably the largest an^03Qst ecumenical of re scue efforts i 



Westem Europe, has not found the historianjit deserves. The Swiss fronöer pdice'and its J 
dirwtorate in Bern had faiied to understand th^grass-roots character of tre Frerictt movement, /Y 





Th^^ice excused their inability to stop this flow of persecuted humanity by Waming it on paid 

'Schleppers', i.e., their usual 


disdain for the low-commerdalism 

ers, and expressed their fruj^ation and 

an Immense human 


3tastrophe into a routine police matter, atthough residents of the Swiss frontier region engaged in 
massive protests against the repatriation of refugees into the hands of Gennan customs and police Y 

oflidals. One report dled in i^vemment "white paper" of the 1 950s (the Ludwig- ^rtehlf&^ted ^7 ' " ' ' * ' 
that G enman m ilitary units serving as occupiers in the French-Swiss frontier vea must have 


women and children^if estimates and oflidal statlsf es can be trusted.Jand looked the other way*! , / 

Of course I had no knowledge of the pdicies and the larger contexts in which we ' ' 
moved across the frontier. The Genman-Swiss military censorship was tighten^to avdd giving , J 

fh« inrr«a«innlv rrimifMl ravinns anri Sfllf-dftsfriidive artions of «sriremlst Nazis like ttiÄ SS-issued 

:en tme largest clandestine movement of Jewish fugitives 
in Westpm Europe since l^^^' J^^ut 34^p^0p^rsons rejelred by the Swiss alien 
policei/and about 10,000 tafepJf=m*i-^t^-tota^ numhe^r nf tott^oh v^« 
is given/as close to 19,000 by|^ the end of täe war. f /ee. ^cU*J> 





^ y^cLhi' 



\\\^\ dnoi 

presse Goebbel's "Das Reich" 4he occ